WATCH: Abby Phillip, Jelani Cobb, more discuss democracy and the press at NABJ event on Martha’s Vineyard

OAK BLUFFS, Massachusetts – There was a near full house at the historic Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard.

The audience came to hear a spirited panel discussion on August 9 with well known Black journalists sharing their thoughts on misinformation in the media.

The Union Chapel Education and Cultural Institute hosted the discussion titled “Truth Be Told: Democracy in Crisis” as part of the Charles Ogletree Public Forum Series, in partnership between the National Association of Black Journalists and Report for America, a national service program that places emerging journalists in local newsrooms nationwide.

“We’ve been planning this event for over a year,” said former NABJ President Dorothy Tucker.

“August on Martha’s Vineyard is the time when thousands of African-Americans gather to vacation,” continued Tucker, an investigative reporter with CBS Chicago. “These days, it’s also a place of education and enlightenment and we wanted to be a part of that.”

CBS’s Michelle Miller moderated the discussion that included Columbia Journalism School Dean Jelani Cobb, CNN’s Abby Phillip, NPR’s Eric Deggans and The Africa Channel’s Paula Madison.

“I stood outside the church and watched as people leaned on their cars and listened to the conversations from speakers at the church doors,” said newly elected NABJ President Ken Lemon. “The message reached people, who now see NABJ as a resource,” Lemon said.

NABJ with sponsorship from NBC and ABC, also hosted a presentation for tweens and teens teaching them how to be more discerning news consumers. The interactive presentation led by ABC’s Byron Pitts and NBC’s Rehema Ellis engaged young people with news quizzes and conversation.

NABJ has been asked to return to Martha’s Vineyard next year with another program. The dates will be announced in the fall. 

“NABJ left its mark on Martha’s Vineyard,” Tucker said.

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