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I am lucky. My older sister had been a journalist for several years before I entered my first newspaper newsroom. She told me to expect resistance to my ideas and skepticism about my abilities because I was black and a woman. Being prepared meant I knew how gender discrimination might play out. That meant I felt less crazy when I was marginalized. It’s important to know when the problem isn’t you. Don’t internalize discrimination or criticism. That keeps you from standing up for yourself, plus you can’t think straight to do your best work. And, of course, how newsrooms value employee contributions is far from objective. I think we’re still in a period in which we’re trying to occupy a model we didn’t create, from definitions of what makes a good news story to how to cover poor communities and communities of color, rather than trying to subvert the model. At the end of the day, as a black woman I’m not interested in upholding newsrooms norms. I’m interested in rewriting them.

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