13 Women Of Color In Journalism You Should Know

How many women of color in journalism do you know about? If you can't come up with a lot of names, it's probably not entirely your fault: A new report found that female reporters of color are severely underrepresented in media outlets across America.

The 2018 Status of Women in the U.S. Media study, by the Women's Media Center, found that women of color make up only 12.6% of local TV news staff, 7.95% of print newsroom staff, and 6.2% of local radio staff. For the sake of comparison: People of color make up 38.7% of the U.S. population and women make up 50.8%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

But while those figures paint a bleak picture, it's also true that there are many amazing female reporters of color out there who are enriching the media landscape with their work.

This International Women's Day, Refinery29 decided to highlight 13 women of color in journalism whose names you should know. They are breaking barriers everywhere from TV to the digital media, creating spaces by and for people of color, or simply reporting issues that have been largely overlooked by traditional outlets.

The truth is that America is changing, so it's crucial for media outlets to employ people who belong to communities that have been historically underrepresented in newsrooms. As CNN anchor Ana Cabrera stressed in an interview with Refinery29 last fall, journalists of color "provide perspective, provide a voice that might be lacking."

"Of course, there are some issues that hit closer to home than others, but because of that, there's more passion in telling those stories. That doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to cover them with an agenda in mind," she said. "I'm going to do perhaps an even better job in telling the story in all its completeness."

Click through to learn more about these journalists and their work. We hope that you find their reporting as empowering as we have.

Is there a woman of color in journalism whose work you love? Let us know in the comments!

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April Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks

Ryan's hardcore questions and gif-worthy reactions have made her one of the breakout stars of the press corps in the Trump era. But she is no newbie: The veteran reporter has been a White House correspondent for 21 years. Check her social media out for her expertise (and honestly, for her funny tweets too.)

Follow her: @AprilDRyan

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Maria Hinojosa, Futuro Media Group

Hinojosa's life mission has been amplifying the voices of the Latinx community in the U.S. She's an award-winning journalist and the founder of the Futuro Media Group, home of podcasts such as LatinoUSA and In The Thick. Follow her work for a different perspective on the issues impacting Latinxs, as well as the joys of our community.

Follow her: @Maria_Hinojosa

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Jenna Wortham, The New York Times Magazine

Wortham's work as a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and as the co-host of the podcast Still Processing can be engaging, insightful, and on top of everything, fun. She also is able to cover a range of issues, from culture and technology to the topic of women in the workplace. You won't regret adding her to your list of favorite writers.

Follow her: @jennydeluxe

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Seung Min Kim, The Washington Post

Kim is one of the best congressional reporters out there — to the point The Washington Post created a new position for her. She's incredibly well-sourced, with a deep understanding of both policy matters and the drama within Capitol Hill. Follow her to keep up with everything going on in Congress.

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Tina Vasquez, Rewire

Vasquez is perhaps one of the best reporters today focusing on issues such as the intersection of immigration and reproductive justice. Her fearless coverage of the Trump administration's policies and the impact they've had on the immigrant community is required reading.

Follow her: @TheTinaVasquez

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Shereen Marisol Meraji, NPR

In a time when exploring issues of race and identity can be quite complicated, Meraji asks a lot of hard questions on NPR's Code Switch. But the self-proclaimed "Persian-Rican" does in such a heartfelt way, you'll just want to keep listening. (Her beautiful piece on Puerto Rican identity is one of this reporter's favorites and will probably be one yours, too.)

Follow her: @RadioMirage

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Sabrina Siddiqui, The Guardian

Siddiqui's chronicle of covering the Trump campaign as a Muslim reporter is one of the most memorable essays of the 2016 presidential election. She's continued her work over the last year in Trump's D.C., diving into everything from policy matters to the palace intrigue within the Trump White House. Follow her for some sharp and crucial political reporting.

Follow her: @SabrinaSiddiqui

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Ilia Calderón, Univisión

Calderón is a trailblazer. She's both the first Black woman to become the anchor of a major TV network in the history of Colombia and the first Afro-Latina to be the anchor of a major TV network in the U.S. Breaking the glass ceiling, and doing it so fearlessly, is just one of the many things this veteran journalist has accomplished.

Follow her: @iliacalderon

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Elise Hu, NPR

Based on Seoul, Hu is an ace of all spades who covers everything from geopolitics to business and lifestyle in North Korea, South Korea, and Japan. Her role has become even more prominent due to the ongoing tensions between the North Korean regime and the Trump administration. Follow her for her crucial reporting, but also her tongue-in-cheek tweets.

Follow her: @elisewho

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Tanzina Vega, The Nation Institute

Vega is one of the most outspoken writers on topics ranging from diversity in journalism to the racial wealth gap. Her passion for and expertise on issues that impact communities of color have led her to a career path that includes stints at The New York Times, CNN, and Princeton University. Though she was not active on Twitter while writing her upcoming book, she's back with vengeance, providing must-read commentary.

Follow her: @tanzinavega

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Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Magazine

Hannah-Jones' impressive reporting on the issue of racial segregation, specifically in education, is some of the best journalism of our time. The MacArthur Foundation agrees, making her a fellow of their famous "genius" grant in 2017. Follow her for her stories about race and education, as well as her commentary on a variety of other issues.

Follow her: @nhannahjones

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Scaachi Koul, BuzzFeed

Koul is a delight to read. She is able to pull anything off: From weird stories to sharp commentary about the modern world, while also centering the experiences of Brown women in an empowering and relatable way. It's not a surprise then that her book of essays is as funny as it is heart-wrenching and revealing. Her Twitter is also hilarious as it's smart.

Follow her: @Scaachi

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Errin Haines Whack, the Associated Press

As the AP's national race and ethnicity writer, Whack covers a lot of ground in today's America. The best part is that she has a strong commitment to reporting on underrepresented communities and it shows in her work. ("We should be reflecting these places, but we need to show up and show up regularly," she told the Columbia Journalism Review.) Follow her for everything from breaking news to in-depth coverage of communities of color in the U.S.

Follow her: @emarvelous

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