This Haitian-American journalist is giving some of the top veterans in the media industry a run for their money. Yamiche Alcindor is an active voice in the political, racial and social justice arena, bringing to the forefront issues that impact Americans all over.
Yamiche Alcindor serves as PBS NewsHour’s White House correspondent as well as a political contributor for NBC News and MSNBC. Prior to joining the NewsHour in January 2018, Alcindor served as a national political reporter for The New York Times where she covered the presidential campaigns of then-Republican candidate Donald J. Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders, as well as Congress, the impact of the Trump Administration’s policies on working class Americans and people of color, and the intersection of race and politics in America.
She was also previously a national breaking news reporter for USA Today where she reported on the Newtown, Conn. school shooting, the death of Trayvon Martin, and police related protests in Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore, Md.
In March 2017, Alcindor – who described the late PBS NewsHour co-anchor and managing editor Gwen Ifill as one of her mentors – was presented an award in Ifill’s memory at the Toner Prize. In 2017, she was also named to The Root’s annual list of the most influential African Americans in the country and to The 1804 List, an award named in honor of Haiti’s year of independence that recognizes influential Haitian-American leaders. In 2013, she was named the National Association of Black Journalists Emerging Journalist of the Year.
Alcindor earned a master’s degree in broadcast news and documentary filmmaking from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in English, government and African American studies from Georgetown University. She is the daughter of two Haitian immigrants who met while attending Boston College.
Why did you go into journalism/ what influenced you to pursue this career?
I became a journalist because I was inspired by civil rights journalists who told the stories of the civil rights movement. In particular, Emmett Till’s death and his mother’s decision to allow the media to photograph him in his casket taught me the power of images and the media.
What has been some of the highlights in your career?
I have been able to cover some of the most important developments of my lifetime. I count covering the death of Trayvon Martin, the protests in Ferguson, Mo., and the 2016 presidential election as major highlights of my career and life. Now, I’m covering the historic presidency of Donald Trump and the modern day civil rights movement happening around the country currently and it’s a privilege to do so.
What is next for you professionally?
I just started a new job at PBS NewsHour as the program’s White House correspondent. I’m looking forward to focusing on honing my broadcast journalism skills.
What advice would you give to young Haitian-Americans interested in journalism?
If you’re interested in journalism, go out and do it. My first internship was at a weekly African American newspaper while I was still in high school. Get an internship wherever you can and learn on the job. Also, find mentors who are varying ages and who can show you the way forward.
How has the industry evolved since you started in journalism?
The industry has become much more focused on having reporters do video and be present on multiple social media outlets. When I started, I was one of a few reporters who wrote stories on my iPhone. Now, writing on your iPhone is the norm and social media use is expected.
What’s next for journalism and are you optimistic about its future?
I am super optimistic about the future of journalism. I think a lot of people have learned about the importance of journalism during the past two years. I suspect a new generation of journalists will be born who will be keenly interested in political reporting and I look forward to teaching them and learning from them.