Robert Hernandez We actually may be “post-race” by 2050, but we still will write mea culpas on things like homosexuality coverage. Immigration seems like something we’ll always debate, blaming actual “aliens” for taking our jobs. I think we’ll also write a mea culpa about science—global warming, questioning evolution and such.
Baratunde Thurston The equivalent of magazine covers will ask, “What Happened to All the White People?” and it will be an in-depth multipart report on how whites willingly and involuntarily gave up power over the previous 100 years. Parts of this piece will focus on backlash, resentment, and failure, and it will highlight mass incarceration and persistent segregation as examples of this. But the piece will close on a more hopeful tone, pointing to the efforts of groups like La Raza and NAACP to help counsel White America through this difficult transition. We will ultimately say that young people connected by technology and global culture helped salvage and reinvigorate the American Dream. The piece will get a Pulitzer. My granddaughter will be the author.
June Cross I had a convo with an older white man last night. He was amazed by the “five different colors” in Obama’s family. I thought he meant the shade of magenta, blue, gray—but no: He meant the colors within Obama’s family. “I never thought I would see such a thing in a presidential family,” he marveled. Not that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson didn’t have Technicolor families; but Caucasians still question. I am not as sanguine as the rest of you that all the problems of the world will be solved by 2050.
Baratunde Thurston National Intelligence Council does a report on the world in 2030, and some of the charts go out to 2050. We’re all going to be singing, “Brown & Yellow, Brown & Yellow, Brown & Yellow!”
Farai Chideya Part of the task is to reward reporters or reporting that can bridge cultures. [Vietnamese-American] journalist and fiction writer Andrew Lam does that well. What have you seen that does things well of late?
Raju Narisetti Washington Post’s The Root, despite lack of commercial success or scale, still continues to do a good job of covering major stories through the prism of race.
Raquel Cepeda From a Latino-American perspective, I’ve seen/read sprinkles of great reporting on race/ethnicity in The Christian Science Monitor. WSJ has published some slamming pieces. When CNN aired “Latino In America,” they published interesting online content. . . . I don’t know if there is one site that really investigates the Latino/Latina-American demo well, like, say, Root.com does.
Doug Mitchell I’m giving a talk to an all-white group of alt-newspaper people tomorrow. I want to ask them about the word diversity. I’m wondering if it’s time to redefine it or change it? And I would argue that 2050 is here.
Farai Chideya Here’s the thing: We can and will change terms like diversity, but the issue is not the terminology.
Doug Mitchell You’re right. [And] the NewU Entrepreneur Fellowship through UNITY Journalists and the Ford Foundation has me thinking on how to get more of journalists of color to become the employer, not just the employee.
Tristan Ahtone Ownership is a huge problem. I think some problems can be solved when we have a diverse newsroom, able to push management to say what is important, and why.
Farai Chideya Money, power, ownership, and leadership—all will factor into how the journalism of 2050 covers race, diversity, wealth, and class. Given the tremendous changes our field has gone through in the past 40 years, mid-21st-century media is bound to be very different from today. But we humans being who we are—curious, inquisitive, and sometimes fearful—there’s bound to be an ongoing debate about some of the same issues we’re puzzling through today.