Nine female journalists of color paid tribute to industry trailblazer Gwen Ifill in a moving video and letter compilation posted yesterday (December 7). The project was curated by PBS NewsHour, where Ifill was the co-anchor and managing editor until her death last month.
"In a media landscape that’s not very diverse, there you were producing some of the best journalism around," wrote CNN’s Tanzina Vega. "You were a beacon for so many of us, women of color especially, who wanted so badly to see themselves reflected in the media. So often women of color are left out of the narrative or our realities are explained by others who have not walked in our shoes."
Vega is featured alongside CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson, McClatchy’s Hannah Allam, The New York Times’ Yamiche Alcindor, NPR Code Switch’s Kat Chow, The Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson and Ifill’s PBS NewsHour colleagues Kenya Downs, Pamela Kirkland and Jasmine Wright.
The journalists highlighted the importance of seeing a woman of color presenting news and shared personal stories of Ifill’s graciousness.
"You encouraged me to find the stories that no one else was reporting on, or angles that weren’t covered," wrote Downs. "You listened, and that meant so much to me."
"The legacy that you have left young women and journalists of color is huge," wrote Thompson "We know that, because of you, we have a seat at the table and deserve a seat at the table."
Watch the journalists read excerpts from their letters in the above video.