KPU and SOC Present: A Conversation with “PBS Newshour” White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor

By: Dezimey Kum

Last week, KPU had the opportunity to host a discussion with Yamiche Léone Alcindor, PBS NewsHour’s White House correspondent. Alcindor discussed with the AU community her perseverance that shaped her career, her journey covering the most divisive issues in the nation, and experience being a reporter as a Black woman in today’s political climate.

With race, politics, and gender being front and center of today’s news, the Kennedy Political Union hosting a conversation about the intersections of these topics, brings awareness to the importance of how journalists should continue to unravel these issues of gender and racial diversity.

Though this event was virtual, the participation from students, particularly those in the School of Communication, demonstrated the importance of diversity newsrooms. Alcindor’s experiences reporting extensively on the impact of President Trump’s policies on working-class people and minorities, the legacy of President Obama, as well as police brutality, were highlighted in the conversation.

As an aspiring African- American journalist, attending this event made me realize how crucial it is to have more Black reporters in the newsroom — whether it’s in pitching, writing, or editing stories. During the conversation, what resonated with me was when Alcindor discussed the police-related protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland.

“After Ferguson, Missouri, after I started covering all of these different shootings, all these different issues on race, the death of Trayvon Martin, it makes journalism right… If you’re a newsroom who does not have a diverse staff, you’re not doing journalism,” Alcindor said.

“If you’re someone who’s trying to cover this racial reckoning that we’re all doing, and all you have are white men in a room.. you’re not going to accurately understand all the life experiences because there are a lot of people who bring a lot of different life experiences.”

While listening to Alcindor speak about her experiences, she made me want to keep striving for change for diversity in the newsroom such as exposure to all races, backgrounds, and political ideologies.

As we draw closer to the 2020 presidential election, Alcindor mentioned towards the end of her discussion that television plays a critical role during election seasons, as millions of Americans tune in to stay informed of the news, learn, and get perspective on the country’s state of affairs.

Not only do journalists play a part in sharing this information, but KPU also brings a comprehensive and inclusive view of current events with our various speakers.




The Kennedy Political Union (KPU) is the non-partisan, student-run, student-funded speakers bureau at American University.

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Kennedy Political Union

Kennedy Political Union

The Kennedy Political Union (KPU) is the non-partisan, student-run, student-funded speakers bureau at American University.

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