Many newsrooms greatly stepped up their reporting on diversity issues during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations of summer 2020 that were triggered by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, at the hands of a police officer. This Press Club of Long Island virtual panel that was presented on June 23, 2022, discusses strategies for covering diversity issues on a local level, whether the commitment to spotlighting racial disparities will be sustained, and what approaches media outlets have taken to continue the conversation about these important issues.
Amudalat Ajasa serves as the Ida B. Wells Society intern at The New York Times reporting from their Investigative Desk. She is a recent graduate of Hofstra University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with minors in meteorology and global studies. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, she has reported for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, the Minneapolis StarTribune, Carnegie-Knight News21 and The Guardian. At Hofstra, she was a founder of The Clocktower, a student-run news outlet focused on investigative, narrative and multimedia stories. Amudalat also served as treasurer of the student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Maya Brown is an associate social newsgathering reporter at NBC News focusing on monitoring social media platforms for breaking, feature and trending news stories and reporting them out. She is a recent graduate from Stony Brook University where she received her bachelor’s in journalism and political science. She has previously interned for NBC News, CNN, the Council on Foreign Relations, WSHU Public Radio, the Long Island Herald and Long Island Weekly Community Newspapers. She has also worked as a reporter with The Latino Reporter in the NAHJ Student Project in 2021. Her dream is to become a national TV correspondent and to cover issues related to race and equality. She will also be attending New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute as a graduate student in the fall pursuing her M.A. in Journalism.
Amy Waldman is the assistant news director at News 12 Long Island. Amy previously served as news director at WPIX and as interim executive director of the New York Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She attended Syracuse University.
Robert Levin is a deputy assistant managing editor at Newsday, running the breaking news desk. His team covers local happenings, trending topics and national issues as they pertain to Long Island. He was formerly the editor-in-chief of amNewYork. Levin has also written for publications such as The Atlantic and The Star-Ledger. He resides in Long Beach.
Nakeem Grant, the chair of the Press Club of Long Island’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, will moderate the discussion and facilitate a Q&A between the panelists and audience.
About PCLI: The PRESS CLUB OF LONG ISLAND is a professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. It is devoted to protecting and advocating for First Amendment rights, furthering ethical standards and providing ongoing training. The club was founded in 1974 in response to a reporter being jailed for failing to reveal a source. Become a member at spj.org/join.asp.