Introducing: the WAM!NYC Editors’ Group

Date: October 21, 2014
Start Time: 6:30 pm
End Time: 8:30 pm
Location: TBD
Where: New York City
RSVP: Click Here!

The WAM!NYC Editors’ Group provides a welcoming space for editors (and aspiring editors) to discuss social justice in the media and the challenges of editors in shaping today’s news. The group is here to create a community for editors of all levels to have honest conversations about the issues that matter most to us.

At our first WAM!NYC Editors’ Group event, which will be held on Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m. (Location TBA), we’ll be discussing editing during a national crisis. What are some of the ways in which we can do better when assigning articles and editing during and after a tragic event?

On Ferguson and the media’s initial reports on what happened there, Roxane Gay aptly said in an article at TheGuardian.com:

“In truth, the media rarely seems well equipped to write about tragedy and trauma ethically, particularly when race is involved. It does not know how to report on Ferguson’s grief and anger without resorting to the most facile – and often most damaging – language that only perpetuates the ever-present racial divide in this country. A USA Today headline read, “Police seek order as Ferguson furor builds”, seemingly without irony because, just above that headline, is a picture of peaceful protestors and, above that, the alarming statistics from the Ferguson police blotter that reveal how the black citizens of that town, are indeed persecuted. The disconnect is hiding in plain sight.

“But the media is comprised of people, and those people have been acculturated in a country that does not value black lives or the tenor of black anger and grief. This is a culture that does not care about black anger and grief unless it inconveniences them.”

She further explains how people in the media “are no better equipped than anyone else to overcome profound cultural biases.” And so we ask, how then can the media do better? Specifically, how can editors improve their outlets coverage of, among other things, national tragedies and disasters? We think a discussion on that begins with a conversation on what the media has done wrong. We welcome your examples of good and bad media coverage following a crisis event, your questions, personal anecdotes, and advice for this conversation and knowledge-sharing session for editors. We look forward to learning with and from you.

Feel free to email with any questions!

Regina Mahone: [email protected]
Clarissa Leon: [email protected]

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