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Admitting It: CBS Cheers 1619 Challenge, Touts Concept That Journalism Ought to Be Activism

CBS This Morning Saturday embraced the concept, after all, journalism is activism and we must always all simply get used to it. Co-host Michelle Miller on July 17 cheered Nikole Hannah Jones, the writer of the traditionally corrupt 1619 Challenge as the fashionable day Ida B. Wells, a girl who heroically battled the KKK as she uncovered the horrors of lynching. 

At no time within the section did Miller point out the historic misrepresentations of the 1619 Challenge. As an alternative, she questioned, “Are you able to be a journalist and an activist in the present day?” In fact Hannah-Jones mentioned sure: 

All journalism is activism. Once you have a look at the mannequin of The Washington Publish, proper? “Democracy dies in darkness.” That is not a impartial place. However our strategies of reporting must be goal. We’ve to attempt to be truthful and correct. And I do not know how one can be truthful and correct if you happen to faux publicly that you haven’t any emotions about one thing that you simply clearly do. 

 

 

The New York Occasions journalist might need a degree if she truly strived to be “truthful and correct.” She doesn’t. As I’ve noted before, the issue with The 1619 Challenge is an issue with information. Distinguished historians, together with Pulitzer Prize-winners, hammered the errors. In a 2019 letter to The New York Times, Victoria Bynum, James M. McPherson, James Oakes, Sean Wilentz, and Gordon S. Wooden wrote:  

We’re dismayed at among the factual errors within the venture and the closed course of behind it.

These errors, which concern main occasions, can’t be described as interpretation or “framing.” They’re issues of verifiable reality, that are the inspiration of each sincere scholarship and sincere journalism.

There’s additionally the problem that Leslie M. Harris, professor of historical past at Northwestern, mentioned the Occasions was aware of the historical errors on the time of publication. However none of that got here up within the section. 

As an alternative, Miller in contrast Hannah-Jones to attach herself to Wells, the crusading African American who confronted dying threats for exposing lynching: “Each ladies exemplifying braveness and power and fact to energy.” 

All month, CBS has been performing because the 1619 Challenge’s PR group. On July 6, This Morning co-host Gayle King hailed the “impeccable” writer. The subsequent day, on July 7, the present hid the 1619 Challenge’s historic lies, suggesting solely Republicans oppose it. 

The propaganda on CBS was sponsored by Tylenol and Comcast. Click on “broaden” to learn extra. 

A partial transcript is beneath. Click on “broaden” to learn extra. 

CBS This Morning Saturday 
7/19/2021
8:44 AM ET

MICHELLE MILLER: On Friday, officers in Memphis unveiled the plaza and statue devoted to hometown hero Ida B. Wells on the 159th anniversary of her delivery. That comes lower than three weeks after a statue was erected in Chicago the place Wells lived towards the top of her life. Ida B. Wells died 90 years in the past, however her legacy of advocacy and journalism proceed to encourage a brand new era selecting up the baton. 

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES: Certainly one of my few regrets in life is that did not go to Howard. 

MILLER: As one of the vital distinguished journalists in America, Nicole Hannah Jones has earned each admiration and scorn. Her 1619 Challenge reframed American Historical past by means of slavery and the contributions of black people. An uncomfortable lens for some. 

HANNAH-JONES: I am not going to let anybody cease me or intimidate me from doing the work that I do know is true. 

MILLER: However a clue to her unapologetic motivation could be discovered proper right here on her Twitter 
deal with. IdaBaeWells. 

HANNAH-JONES: From the second I pulled her autobiography off the shelf, I used to be hooked. To at the present time she’s form of my religious godmother. 

MILLER: That religious godmother is Ida B. Wells, the fearless nineteenth century newspaper writer, suffragist and anti-lynching campaigner who uncovered the horror of lynchings and enlightened these in denial. 

HANNAH-JONES: This is this girl born in slavery who offered the template for the kind of journalism I wished to, do the kind of particular person I wished to be. She was one of many nation’s first investigative reporters. She’s the explanation we started to catalog the variety of lynchings. 

MILLER:  In 2020, that lifetime of labor earned Wells the celebrated Pulitzer Quotation, the identical yr Jones earned her Pulitzer Prize for the 1619 Challenge. 

MILLER: Jones who just lately joined the employees of Howard college after a public tenure battle with the college of North Carolina is unabashed. Are you able to be a journalist and an activist in the present day? 

HANNAH-JONES: I get that query quite a bit. 

MILLER: The reply is straightforward for this journalist and professor who co-founded the Ida B. Wells society for investigative reporting. 

HANNAH-JONES: All journalism is activism. Once you have a look at the mannequin of The Washington Publish, proper? “Democracy dies in darkness.” That is not a impartial place. However our strategies of reporting must be goal. We’ve to attempt to be truthful and correct. And I do not know how one can be truthful and correct if you happen to faux publicly that you haven’t any emotions about one thing that you simply clearly do. 

MILLER: Each ladies exemplifying braveness and power and fact to energy. And one thing that Ida B. Wells mentioned — “The way in which to proper wrongs is to show the sunshine of fact upon them.” One of many explanation why she was awarded the Pulitzer Quotation. And the irony is 2020, you noticed this she and — and Hannah Nikole [sic] Jones earned that Pulitzer prize. When 2021 Darnella Frazier who filmed George Floyd in Minneapolis additionally was — had been bestowed the quotation, as properly. So I imply, it is the activism is obvious. The guide cites it in some ways from Colin Kaepernick on. It is unbelievable. 

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