As media becomes an industry with clear divisions, panelists Cierra Hinton, Clarissa Brooks, Anoa Changa, Dalyah Jones, and Diamond Hardiman join to discuss how journalism is shifting to the reality that the end of objectivity is near.
Since its proliferation in the 1920s, objectivity has been used as a tool of journalism, developed to create neutrality in reporting. However, as journalist Ramona Martinez says, "Objectivity is the ideology of the status quo." What has been forgotten in media history is that there have always been journalists resisting even the largest journalism corporations and their unequal coverage of the marginalized communities. Recently there has been a rapid growth of those who call themselves movement journalists. These reporters seek to recenter community and directly impacted folks in their reporting instead of solely relying on the voice of institutions to create reporting that is factual, accurate, and speaks to the humanity of the people they report on.
This conversation about the end of objectivity is held by panelists who are all apart of journalism organizations that work to bring authentic reporting and coverage to marginalized communities, including Just Media Project, Scalawag Magazine, Media 2070, and the Texas Observer.
Clarissa Brooks is an alum of Spelman College, a freelance journalist, and a community organizer fighting for PIC abolition. Her writing can be found at the Guardian, Teen Vogue, Vice, Bustle, and elsewhere. She's a former Freedomways Fellow with Press On, a journalism collective supporting women and nonbinary writers of color. She is currently an HBCU Fellow with #MeToo focusing on the experiences of survivors of sexual violence. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Clarissa works to blend her love of community, ethical journalism, and scholarship.
Cierra Hinton is a creative strategist: she centers radical imagination, play, and community in her work. She loves to build with teams and individuals as they drive toward outcomes that matter in a way that is inclusive and authentic. She’s thrilled to currently do that as a coach with the Facebook Sustainability Accelerator and UNC-Knight Table Stakes programs. In addition to coaching and consulting, Cierra is the Executive Director-Publisher at Scalawag. Before Scalawag, Cierra was an individual giving officer at a number of education non-profits. Fundraising is yet another manifestation of Cierra’s life purpose: it is her personal mission to find, gather, and distribute resources to folks that share her identities and have been historically disinherited, namely Black, Indigenous, queer, women and femme identifying people, and folks from rural and low-income communities. Cierra's work as a community organizer previously with Ignite NC and now with the Southern Movement Assembly grounds that work. Cierra has also served as the Director of Network Building and Operations at Press On, a Southern media collective and was a fellow at the Poynter Institute through the Media Transformation Challenge. She sits on the boards of LION Publishers and the NC Local News Workshop. Cierra calls North Carolina home. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and now gleefully lives in Durham with her life partner, J, and domestic partner, Amber.
DaLyah Jones was born and raised a country girl behind the “Pine Curtain” of East Texas. She is currently the Director of Engagement at the state watchdog magazine Texas Observer and a board member for movement journalism organization Press On. Her other work can be found at Texas Observer, NPR, Texas Monthly, NBC Think, and more. Her work covers contemporary Black Southern issues around environment, preservation, arts and culture as well as BIPOC communities in rural areas of Texas.
Diamond Hardiman works as the manager for Free Press’ News Voices: Colorado project in collaboration with community members to envision a transformative media. As a member of the Black Caucus at Free Press, she also works with Media 2070, a campaign and 100-page essay making the case for media reparations. She aims to participate in the creation of a world where freedom is noncontingent — but rather, an inevitable necessity. In service of this vision she has worked as a tenants’ rights advocate and bail abolitionist in St. Louis, as well as an advocate for people sentenced to execution by the state in Jackson, Mississippi. Diamond earned a B.A. in African American studies and Political Science from Saint Louis University. In her free time, she enjoys pondering womanism and liberation theology, admiring beauty in all of its forms and indulging in both joy and rest.
Anoa Changa is an independent journalist based in Atlanta. Anoa focuses on electoral justice, voting rights, and politics. Anoa is an innovator of electoral justice as a reported beat. An organizer by nature and retired attorney, Anoa has a strong sense of equity and justice.