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Opinion: Journalists of color to follow

Students and community members gather in Jewett Concert Hall March 21, 2019 to listen to Vox video producer Carlos Maza’s lecture “Queering the Blank Slate.” (Photo by Madison Ostergren)

For journalists, bias starts when they walk into the newsroom. Who a journalist is and the identities they carry with them influence how they report on a story — whether they want it to or not.

It influences who they reach out to for sources, how they perceive a certain experience and even what stories they pitch.

Much of the traditional news media is homogenous, with a large portion of reporters being white people. Whether intentional or not, this dramatically influences what the news looks like.

Because of this, it is important to seek out journalists and reporters that are people of color and who tell stories from different angles and perspectives.

Here are five journalists you should follow who are people of color and have covered a wide variety of important issues in the world.

Laurel Chor

Chor is a photojournalist based in Hong Kong. She has created content for National Geographic, Vice News, and more. Recently, Chor has done coverage of the ongoing political situation in Hong Kong, including the 2019 protests.

Chor has done video and photo coverage of the protests for Vice News where she is on the frontline with the protesters. 

Chor also did coverage from inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University during the protester occupation of the campus. She documented how protesters created a self-sufficient colony within the university and the police siege against the campus.

You can see her work at laurelchor.com.

Dexter Thomas

Thomas is a correspondent for Vice News where he covers how culture and politics intersect. Most recently, he produced the story, “A Brief History of America’s Fascination With Black People Dying on Camera – and Its Costs,” which looks into how videos of Black people being brutalized by police can inspire action and attention but can also be traumatic.

Thomas has also interviewed North Korean defectors and survivors of mass shootings. 

Thomas has worked for the LA Times and contributed to the reporting of the Pulitzer-Prize winning story about a shooting in San Bernadino, CA.

You can see his work at Vice.  

Alzo Slade

Slade is a correspondent for Vice News where he produces segments for both Vice News Tonight and Investigations by Vice. He has covered everything from “Why don’t we ever call white extremists terrorists?” to “Russia’s War on Hip Hop.”

Slade has done many stories around the world. He recently covered the Black Lives Matter movement’s international impacts in, “Why Ethiopian Jews Are Building a Movement Against Racism in Israel,” which covers the protests against police brutality that is affecting Ethiopian Israelies. 

You can find Slade’s work at Vice.

Carlos Maza

Maza is an independent journalist and media critic who does work explaining how the news media works and how that influences U.S. issues. His work analyzes political structures, how those structures are influenced by media and vice versa.

Maza previously worked for Vox where he produced the series Strikethrough. Recently, Maza has created his own YouTube channel where he has made videos such as “6 ways the media protects violent cops.”

You can see his independent work on his YouTube channel and his previous work at Vox.

Ranjani Chakraborty

Chakraborty is a producer and video journalist for Vox. She reports on subjects of inequality and social and criminal justice. She has produced videos such as “What ‘defund the police really means,” and “The massacre of Tulsa’s ‘Black Wall Street.” 

Chakraborty has previously worked for National Geographic, NBC, and America Tonight. She has reported on everything from injustice in the prison system to problems parents with disabilities face to what it’s like to be a transgender youth in the U.S. 

You can see her work at Vox.

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Marina McTee
Marina McTee is a senior communication major at Westminster College. She is specializing in journalism and content creation. She hopes to combine her passion for journalism with her passion for all things media and work for a media outlet such as SLUG Mag or Vice someday. She is dedicated to reporting news and creating media specialized for the internet world so it is accessible to all.

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