Farai Chideya Essay

Farai Chideya has accomplished many things at 28 years old that many journalists can only hope to achieve. She began her career as an intern at Newsweek while studying at Harvard. After her graduation, she was hired at Newsweek as a reporter and stayed on from 1990-1994. Chideya covered news in Newsweek’s New York and Chicago bureaus, as well as in the Washington bureau, where she covered national politics, from an article titled Skewering Congressional Pork, to following President Clinton as a pool reporter on Air Force One.

Soon afterward, Chideya made her transition to newswriting at MTV from 1994-1996. During this short period of time, Chideya also completed a fellowship at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center, examining why young Americans are tuning out the news. She published a book in 1995 called Don’t Believe the Hype: Cultural Misinformation About African-Americans, which is now in its eigth printing. Using statistics largely from government sources, she attempted to undercut the argument that African-Americans are at the roots of problems such as crime, welfare and drugs.
Chideya spent time as a CNN Political Analyst during the 1996 presidential campaign. It was at this time that she was named to the New York Daily News’ Dream Team of political reporters and commentators. She appeared on programming such as TalkBack Live and CNN ; Company, as well as ABC’s Nightline, CBS’s Up to the Minute, and BET’s Teen Summit and Town Hall Meeting on the Black Family.
She saw the publishing of her new book, The Color of our Future: How the Nation’s Most Diverse Generation is Reshaping American Culture., in 1997. That was also the year that she began her two current positions as an ABC News Correspondent and Editor of National Affairs at VIBE magazine. During same period, Newsweek named her to its Century Club of 100 people to watch as we approach the year 2000.
As a freelance journalist, she has written extensively about music, books and trends for The Villiage Voice and Spin, among others. On a more serious side, she has profiled white supremacists for Mademoiselle, examined child sexual abuse allegations for the Los Angeles Times and written on Affirmative Action for the New York Times.

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Chideya has also won many awards, including a National Education Reporting Award (for a Newsweek story in the cover package about the World’s Ten Best Schools), a Unity Award in Media (for a Newsweek story in a cover package about the black family) and a GLAAD Award (for a Spin magazine story on homophobia in hip-hop).

Besides her two current postions, Chideya currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the American News Service and has her own web site called www.popandpolitics.com, which has both music reviews and political commentary.



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