Global Communicator Magazine Honors NABJ President Dorothy Tucker
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Global Communicator Magazine honored NABJ President Dorothy Tucker with a December 2020 cover story titled: “NABJ President Dorothy Tucker on the Frontline for More Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Newsrooms Across the Country.” Congratulations, Dorothy! Read an excerpt below and follow the link to read the full story.
By Christy Hicks
Dorothy Tucker assumed the presidency of The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in August 2019. She took office just months before the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor would roil the nation, sending thousands of people into the streets to demand police accountability and reform, racial justice, and equity. At the same time, the world was gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, which put a spotlight on healthcare disparities and inadequacies and changed the way we live, work, travel, entertain ourselves and connect with our families. In addition, the country was caught up in the drama of the presidential election. The confluence of these events and the impact they have had on every segment of society are unparalleled in modern history, and African American journalists are playing a crucial role in telling the stories, providing context, debunking false narratives, and making sure that the stories stay in front of the American public and newsrooms across the nation and are being fairly reported. But that role is taking a toll.
NABJ is supporting these journalists in myriad ways at the national and local levels. The organization holds workshops and provides information and tools for reporters to protect themselves while covering these stories and offering mental health support to help reporters deal with the stress of covering stories that 0ften disproportionately affect their families and communities. It is also providing hardship scholarships to members affected by COVID-19, presenting 200 members with scholarships up to $250; last week it cut checks of up to $2,000 for 60 members. “The pandemic hit our community hard,” Tucker says. “African American journalists become the story that they are covering. It hits home personally.”
Tucker’s experience with COVID-19 was a personal one. It was early in the pandemic and she knew she had been exposed, but it was difficult for her to get a test. She self-quarantined, but it took a lot of persistence to get her healthcare providers to approve the test. When she finally was able to get it, she tested positive. She never had to go to the hospital, but she had a persistent cough for almost two months and said she was exhausted.