Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Communications Hosts ‘Reporting While Black: The January 6th Attack on Democracy’

By Sholnn Z. Freeman

“Reporting While Black: The January 6th Attack on Democracy” will offer the unique perspectives of five noted journalists who covered the insurrection on Capitol Hill at the start of 2021. This captivating discussion will be held virtually and in person from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, in the School of Social Work auditorium.

The panel discussion, which coincides with the second anniversary of the insurrection, is being sponsored by the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, the Howard University Association of Black Journalists, and 

The session is open to the Howard community and the public. The School of Social Work auditorium is at 601 Howard Place NW, at the corner of Sixth Street. The program will also be live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook.

Here is the stellar lineup:

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Keith Alexander who covers crime and courts at the Washington Post and serves as adviser to The Hilltop campus newspaper at Howard;
  • Hamil Harris, former Washington Post reporter and Howard adjunct lecturer, who covered the insurrection for the Washington Informer;
  • Award-winning photojournalist Cheriss May, immediate past president of Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW); and
  • Tia Michell, Washington correspondent for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The moderator is Stacey Patton, Ph.D., an award-winning journalist, author, historian and assistant professor of journalism at Howard. Dr. Patton’s work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Al Jazeera, BBC News, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among others.

“This panel is important, not just to the community, but to the students who need to hear the stories of the journalists who witnessed and reported on the violent attack at the Capitol, putting their own lives at risk,” said Jennifer Thomas, associate professor and jJournalism sSequence cCoordinator.

“Part of our mission for our collegiate journalists at Howard is to expose them to the real-life lessons that come with being defenders of democracy and provide them with tips on reporting on trauma and managing self-care.”

The “”Reporting While Black”” series features Black journalists who cover major stories, such as 9/11. Some sessions highlight special issues that these journalists face on the job because of their race and ethnicity, such as being arrested while covering protests despite displaying their news credentials.

For a half-century, Howard has been the leading producer of journalists such as Alexander and May. The Cathy Hughes School of Communications recently celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.