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The Voice of the Black Community

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Journalist April Ryan: ‘You gotta know what you stand for’
 
Published Monday, September 10, 2018
by Evelyn Howell, Correspondent

DURHAM – Anyone who writes for newspapers, magazines, and websites or prepares news for broadcast must be a champion for truth.

Award winning journalist, author and CNN contributor April Ryan cares about reporting facts. She said her first obligation is to get to the truth.

“When I do my job, I don’t think about the public. My sole purpose is to do news. It’s my passion. I do my job. If you do your job, the truth will come out.”

Ryan spoke from the heart during a “round robin” interview, where an audience of reporters –including seasoned and up–and–coming journalists – asked her questions about her career as a journalist and White House reporter at a press conference on North Carolina Central’s campus.

Ryan was there as keynote speaker to open NCCU’s 2018-19 Rock the Lyceum Lecture Series.

Ryan’s bold questions raise many eyebrows while covering the White House. Her clashes and back and forth exchanges during press briefings with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders have made headlines.

Ryan’s voice advocates for freedom of the press. She cautioned reporters to not to be “too friendly where you’re not objective,” and to surround yourself with sources you can trust because “they can be playing games.”

“Make sure you are getting the story and the story is right," she said. “You gotta know what you stand for and what you’re doing.”

When it comes to reporting and gathering facts, it’s not just about one side.

Ryan said Washington, D.C., is a male-dominated town. However, she has established connections on both sides of the aisle: Democrats and Republicans.

“They trust me, and I trust them,” she said.

Known as a trailblazer, Ryan is a longtime reporter and bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, covering urban issues from the White House. She has served in this role for over 20 years, and is the only African-American woman to hold the position since the Clinton administration.

Ryan began her career as a news director at a number of radio stations. She was named journalist of the year by the National Association for Black Journalists in 2017 and received the 2016 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Trailblazer Award from the National Council of Negro Women, and the Shorty Award for Social Media.

Ryan has received a number of awards and is “grateful for each and every award.”

She’s written three books – The Presidency in Black and White, for which she received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author; At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White, published in Dec. 2016; and Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House, which describes her experience as a reporter during President Trump’s administration.

 

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