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AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity Interview with Poindexter, Paula

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  •  Introduction 
  •  Dr. Poindexter talks about her interest in journalism being accidental and coming by accident as a result of her first job out of college being at KPRC-TV, the NBC affiliate, in Houston, Texas. She also describes that job.
  •  Dr. Poindexter realized at that point that she didn’t really like the particular line of work, and decided to go to graduate school. She attended Syracuse and explains a little bit of how she got there and what she experienced working under Doctor Maxwell McCombs.
  •  After finishing graduate school Dr. Poindexter took her first teaching job at the University of Georgia before leaving to work at the LA Times.  
  •  Dr. Poindexter explains her experience at the LA Times and the perspective she gained by working on the business side as opposed to the newsroom.
  •  Dr. Poindexter addresses the continual awareness she has had with regards to issues of diversity because of her background and where she was raised. 
  •  Dr. Poindexter recalls some of the stories that she covered while working at KPRC-TV in Houstin, and makes the statement that covering diversity is "just a part of you."
  •  Dr. Poindexter recounts a specific example of a documentary she produced called “On the Other Side”, that highlighted African-Americans in Houston from a cultural point of view.
  •  Dr. Poindexter also had the opportunity to do several features on the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, which had become an art fixture both nationally and internationally.
  •  Dr. Poindexter expresses her view that learning to work behind the camera is important as well.
  •  Dr. Poindexter recalls the way diversity impacted her when she first started working in journalism.  
  •  Dr. Poindexter talks about her opinion that much has been done to address diversity but “We do need to keep in mind that today there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.”
  •  Dr. Poindexter addresses the goal of the ASNE – to have parity in the newsroom and the need for a back-up plan in order to address the issues of diversity. 
  •  Dr. Poindexter proposes that everyone in newsroom – despite his or her color – has a responsibility to understand why diversity is
    important and make efforts to eliminate stereotypes.
  •  Dr. Poindexter discusses the focus of efforts in addressing diversity being centered in hiring practices and not on content. 
  •  Dr. Poindexter talks about the way the Kerner commission in 1968, changed the efforts of newsrooms across the country to address issues of diversity.
  •  Dr. Poindexter recounts that the first formal discussion of diversity she had was at AEJMC while she was in graduate school. She specifically mentions the MAC (minorities and communication) division of AEJMC in connection with that experience.
  •  Dr. Poindexter give credit to the founder of MAC, Dr. Lionel Barrow Jr., for pushing for the development of diversity within AEJMC and introducing the idea of change through education.
  •  (readjusting the mic and making some production fixes)
  •  Dr. Poindexter talks about the lack of diversity in journalism education. 
  •  Dr. Poindexter explains why AEJMC was able to lead out on issues of diversity in journalism 
  •  Dr. Poindexter shares her reasoning as to why Dr. Barrow, from Howard University, was successful in establishing an emphasis around diversity within AEJMC in his time.
  •  Dr. Poindexter pauses to explain that the connection to the first amendment of the constitution, elements of social responsibility, and the unique elements of the industry make journalism a natural place to address issues of diversity in the country. 
  •  Dr. Poindexter talks about the way these conversations about diversity impacted her own research and teaching.
  •  Dr. Poindexter shares information about a course she created called African-Americans in the media and how it came directly out of those first conversations.
  •  Dr. Poindexter explains the way AEJMC is organized in order to address the way diversity has affected her teaching.
  •  Dr. Poindexter laments that there’s an urgency to addressing diversity in teaching that’s not felt by many, but explains that the same issues facing the diversification of newsrooms exist in the same efforts within academia. She does state, however, that regardless of the diversity of faculty, universities can achieve diversity in their curriculum. It boils down to commitment.
  •  Dr. Poindexter expresses that journalism, "is a social responsibility.” And “I think if universities recognized that social responsibility then they may get it, why this is important.” Ultimately she feels that there is a lot that universities, faculty, and journalists need to do in addressing diversity and keeping people informed.
  •  Dr. Poindexter comments on the current emphasis that newsrooms place on diversity as compared to the past, and some of the reasons for that emphasis.
  •  Dr. Poindexter feels that the same emphasis needs to be placed on diversity in educating journalists as it is in newsrooms across the country.
  •  Dr. Poindexter recounts her experience as a member of AEJMC which began when she was in graduate school.  
  •  Dr. Poindexter received a doctoral minority scholarship as part of Dr. Barrow’s efforts to increase minority representation in teaching journalism and communication at the university level.
  •  Dr. Poindexter shares a story about how she became inspired about doing research that dealt with race and ethnicity.
  •  Dr. Poindexter's involvement with AEJMC was multifaceted from the beginning. She was a recipient of the scholarship, she was active in the MAC division, she did research, and she ran for office early on. 
  •  Dr. Poindexter explains how service within AEJMC works and the positions that she has held over the years. 
  •  Dr.Poindexter talks about some of the awards and nominations she has been given while serving in AEJMC.
  •  Dr. Poindexter served as president of AEJMC during the 2013-2014 year. She discusses her responsibilities and the focus she had during her tenure and the implications of being a minority serving as president of the organization. 
  •  Dr. Poindexter discusses her recent visit to the Unity Diversity Caucus in D.C. composed of almost all of the minority journalism associations from across the country and what she said regarding the status of AEJMC's efforts on issues of diversity.
  •  Dr. Poindexter talks about where things are going from here with respect to efforts towards diversifying journalism and AEJMC.  
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Title:AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity Interview with Poindexter, Paula
Description:Dr. Paula Poindexter, who has been a manager and executive at The Los Angeles Times and a reporter and producer for KPRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Houston, served as president of AEJMC, the largest association of journalism educators, graduate students, and media and communication professionals in the world from 2014-15. Poindexter, who teaches journalism undergraduate and graduate courses, earned her Ph.D. degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Country:United States
CreatorTrent R Boulter
Location:University of Texas at Austin
Contributor:Martin Do Nacimento
PublisherDolph Briscoe Center for American History