Alcindor addressed concerns about fake news, conspiracy theories, and widespread distrust in the news. “I think we have a shared responsibility as viewers, as consumers of news to also think, ‘What is my personal responsibility when it comes to information?’’’ Alcindor emphasized reading and listening to multiple sources, including both local and national news. “I watch all the networks. I also read a number of newspapers,” said Alcindor. “I feel like that’s what we have to do as a country and it just can’t be journalists saying ‘Oh well we really want to win back your trust.’ It has to be also people making the decision that they want to take in information that sometimes goes against their natural biases.”
Alcindor has experienced Trump’s disdain for the press and news media, as he has made multiple remarks to Alcindor to “be nice” during press conferences. Although it may sound difficult to keep her composure, she said that her privilege to talk to the president of the United States reminds her that the American people deserve a press that thinks about them. “I’m constantly thinking, ‘What about that worker who has to go to work today? What about that mother who just buried their 13-year-old who died of COVID? What about that person who doesn’t know how they're going to feed their family tonight, and by the way they just got an eviction notice,’” said Alcindor.
In maintaining her professionalism, she said that a major responsibility of reporters is to hold all political leaders accountable. “I think that at the end of the day the press is not there to be friendly with political leaders. We’re there to push them.” said Alcindor. “That relationship should be a little tense when you think about the roles that we’re each playing.”
Alcindor also discussed how African Americans are represented in mainstream media and how they continue to be stereotyped and silenced. “As someone who has covered race for a long time, I can tell you decades before President Trump came along, there were African Americans who watched their local news and said ‘I don’t see myself reflected in the news that I watch,’” said Alcindor. She stressed the important role of the Black press in bringing a different perspective to the news, and she hoped that small Black newspapers, like the Westside Gazette, will continue to survive.
Diversity in the journalism industry is so important because “all of those life experiences make the journalism better,” said Alcindor. “You can’t cover America in a robust way, in a way that’s accurate and honest without also having people that represent all of the different parts of America.” Alcindor also said that the media should continue to be challenged for its diversity, fairness, and accuracy.
When confronting challenges in life, Alcindor advised students to stay grounded and focused, press forward, and forget about the naysayers. “Be too busy chasing your dreams, too busy chasing your purpose, too busy making this world a better place.” she said. The job, especially of a White House correspondent, is to be on 24/7, said Alcindor, but it does not mean you shouldn’t carve out time for yourself or your friends, especially as a college student. Alcindor encouraged students to allow themselves to be vulnerable, especially during this tumultuous time. “Check in on your friends who you think are strong. People are struggling more than you will ever know in 2020.”