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Coming up on Connections: Thursday, February 22, 2024 Niewiadomski

First hour: Discussing the impact of a lack of diversity in U.S. newsrooms

Second hour: When and where are prayer and religious instruction appropriate in schools?

Recent data shows that newsrooms around the world remain majority white and male. How does the marginalization of women and LGBTQ+ individuals – specifically women and LGBTQ+ people of color – affect how stories are covered and the types of stories that are reported? A nonprofit digital news organization called The 19th* seeks to bridge those gaps. Its work has been celebrated, but has also come with challenges. It’s the focus of a documentary called “Breaking the News” that will be screened at the Little Theatre next week. This hour, we preview that event and discuss the state of diversity – or lack thereof – in newsrooms. Our guests:

  • Jasmin Singer, host of WXXI’s Weekend Edition and Environmental Connections, and guest host for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Connections
  • Vanessa Cheeks, vice president of social media and marketing for Rochester Association of Black Journalists (RABJ), communications manager for Rochester’s Police Accountability Board, and former TV news producer
  • Emily Ramshaw, co-founder and CEO of The 19th*

Then in our second hour, the legal landscape regarding prayer in school has started to shift in the last five years. Several legal cases – including one that went to the Supreme Court – address the issue of where prayer and religious instruction are appropriate and where they are not. Linda K. Wertheimer is a journalist who has covered this issue across the country. This hour, she joins representatives from Americans United for Separation of Church and State to discuss this issue. Our guests:

  • Linda K. Wertheimer, journalist and author of “Faith Ed, Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance”
  • Andrew L. Seidel, vice president of strategic communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State
  • Robert Goldstein, president of the Rochester chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.