Farai Chideya, March 2010

Chideya, a veteran journalist and an early blogger, discussed her optimism about citizen journalism and the concept of “prosumers” with students.

In her public lecture and a Q&A session with students, Chideya addressed the growth and impact of social media in the context of decreasing diversity in mainstream news media. As a veteran journalist (Newsweek, MTV News, CNN, ABC News) and an early blogger (PopandPolitics.com), she expressed optimism about citizen journalism and the increasing number of people (“prosumers”) who are producers of content and not just consumers. “As a media maker, I’m able to make sense of a world that doesn’t always make sense,” she explained. When citizens produce media, “you change your relationship to the world — you can be an actor instead of just being acted upon.”

Chideya has written critically of mainstream media portrayals of African Americans and people of color — including her book Don’t Believe the Hype. Audience members who were loyal listeners of News and Notes – the daily show on African-American issues hosted by Chideya – expressed disappointment that NPR had terminated a program that was offering voices and issues not heard elsewhere.

Read an article about Chideya from Ithacan Online.