Friday, 18 Jan 2019

Jemele Hill wants to become a journalist again at the Atlantic

Former ESPN facilitator, Jemele Hill, left, discusses with a group of Atlantic Fellows. (Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post) Six recent afternoons, six young Atlantic Fellows sat around a table at a Watergate Hotel café while Jemele Hill, the magazine's new editor, recounted her journey. journalistic. Hill had been hired a few weeks earlier, after a very public release of ESPN, where she had become one of the most prominent television personalities. But she reminded the fellows, women and minorities, that the printed report was her first love. A student at Michigan State, she already wrote the story of a professor who was distributing fake notes. During an internship at Raleigh News & Observer, she told the group, she spelled the name of a wrong subject in her first article on the front page. "I wanted to pirate a building that day," Hill said. With a pair of Beats earphones wrapped around his neck and his braids drawn in a ponytail, Hill, 42, told the fellows: "In this case, you will enter so many pieces and no one will look like you . You will make mistakes and you will not feel like you belong to this world, but do not feel compelled to hack into a building. She paused, "Believe me," she said, "I'll know." Hill spent more than a decade at ESPN, going from online columnist to podcaster and host to 6 pm. SportsCenter. "Last year, she became famous well beyond sports circles when she called President Trump" white supremacist "in a Twitter response." Sarah Sanders, Press Secretary , responded in the White House's information room, calling Hill's comment as a guilty offense. (Hill was subsequently suspended from ESPN when she suggested on Twitter that unhappy fans The NFL could boycott advertisers associated with the Dallas Cowboys after its owner, Jerry Jones, announced that his players would be outlawed if they did not defend the national anthem.)[[[[A writer tweeted a racist caricature of Eric Reid. Why another writer showed it to him.]Hill stayed at ESPN for a year after Trump's dust before being taken over in September. Her 18 hours "SportsCenter" struggled to create an audience and she left for the ESPN's race, sports and culture website, The Undefeated. Nevertheless, she recognizes the paradox of her last months at ESPN. Out of "SportsCenter", she became a big star and a symbol of The Resistance, almost accidentally realizing a unique brand of Trump – era celebrities who then offered a platform not available to every host of her. ESPN – or writer from the Atlantic. ESPN, for its part, has had to cope with a difficult business climate, lose cable subscribers and try to separate from a conflictual political climate, critics blaming the right for accusing the network of becoming too political and too progressive. "It was a mutual break," said Hill. "I do not think it could have continued." From her commentary on Trump, she added, "I know I would not be [at the Atlantic] today if I had not said it, but I do not want it to be the first line of my obit: "She tweeted Donald Trump."
Hill says she's "back with my tribe" now that she has left the television. (Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post) The Atlantic represents a new beginning. And there, says Hill, she wants to become a journalist again. "In fact, I went on television when I heard about Matt Lauer's contract," she said with a laugh. "Twenty-five million dollars and he had his Fridays." She then added, "Now I'm back with my tribe." Hill received clear instructions from his new chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief for the Atlantic. "What ESPN did not want it to be," he said, "is what I want it to be." Goldberg was scrolling Twitter one night, several months ago, when he saw that Hill was a free agent. He was a writer at the Atlantic in 2011 when civil rights historian Taylor Branch released a
Cover story on college sports, arguing that the system was corrupt and players had to be paid. The magazine's cover was that of a black shirtless athlete wearing a tattoo: "NCAA Property". In his office, a recent afternoon, Goldberg threw the number on a table and said that the article was exactly the way the magazine was to cover sports – through the lens of race and politics . "We will never cover the matches here," he said. "I'm interested in ownership issues, from what happens to players after retirement, to free training for players playing for very rich universities. And Jemele too. " [Jason Whitlock to young black conservatives: ‘I’m here to tell you how’ to be leaders] The Atlantic is currently expanding, hiring dozens of journalists after an investment by Laurene Powell Jobs. So Goldberg joined Hill and when they met, she came up with story ideas, from short columns to long magazine articles. Hill's main target, for example, is Serena Williams. Goldberg watched old clips from Hill's stops at the Detroit Free Press and the Orlando Sentinel, where she was a sports columnist. "You know what TV looks like – I go on TV – it's easier than writing," Goldberg said. "It's nonsense, right? She has gifts, fame, motivation and analytical acuity. She can really do journalism on a set of important topics that will make a difference. Following her departure from ESPN, Hill was often asked if she would seek a position as a policy specialist, perhaps on MSNBC or CNN. . In some ways, the work she's done is the opposite. "I would do myself a disservice if I did not try to run a long horribly long magazine while I'm here," she said. "I think 20,000 words." Hill, who briefly lived in Washington this year, then moved to Los Angeles and created a production company, Lodge Freeway Media, named after a highway in his city. native of Detroit. She plays the documentary "Shut Up and Dribble" produced by LeBron James and develops a humorous series with Sony and actress Gabrielle Union, wife of Dwyane Wade. There may be more partnerships with Union and James production companies in the future. Despite the ambitions shared by Hill and her editor-in-chief, this raises a thorny question of propriety: whether she can be in business with athletes while writing critical works about them. "We'll have to watch this," Goldberg said. "If she works on a documentary with an athlete, we will be transparent and we will say it with full disclosure and we will let the reader evaluate it accordingly. But if we come to the conclusion that due to various complications, she can not do the full task, we move on to another topic. There is a lot to write. Goldberg added, "Maybe I'll have to write LeBron James's profile. Hill compared this arrangement to the one where she wrote critically about her former mother, Michigan State, following the Larry Nassar scandal, and she and her basketball coach Spartans, Tom Izzo, forged ties of She has, however, written a hard article for The Undefeated, claiming that he owed the public better answers as to how he had handled the allegations of sexual assault against his players. "I experienced the embarrassment of having to write about someone I'm friends with," she said, "I'm not even friends with LeBron, I'm friendly, he understands the role of the media and nothing will change the dynamics [of journalist and subject]. " [Protesters often win history’s long game. Ask Tommie Smith and John Carlos.] Could Hill one day choose between print journalism and his other activities? "If I become the next Shonda Rhimes, I should make a decision," she said, referring to the TV producer. "But I do not think they're competing with each other." For Hill, Hill reviewed Black's support for Brett Kavanaugh and wrote about Beto O. Rourke's support for the law of the United States. NFL players to demonstrate during the national anthem. She said, she said, that it is possible to leave ESPN with some freedom, but perhaps also a level of intimidation. "Every person you meet at work has covered foreign affairs, the White House or something very important," she said. Back at the café, Hill and the young fellows exchanged notes on their favorite editors, discussed how to tell stories and often talked about how people of color can make their way into the profession. "In some ways, things can get worse as your career progresses," said Hill. "Like on TV." "I'm really glad you're so honest," said a man. Hill's answer: "I'll never do nonsense." Read more about the Post: The cautious and often subtle social activism of Aaron Rodgers, the NFL's biggest superstar "Harper's Bazaar has begun," and the Scott Boras show has made it Cheerleading to join the football team – and then scored a record touchdown "ESPN does not have a voice like mine": the view of Will Cain right.

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