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Gwen Ifill, one of the country’s most prominent and veteran political journalist died yesterday, at 61, after a private battle with cancer. As PBS Newshour co-anchor and managing editor and moderator “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill” she has left an indelible mark on the news industry. A mark which neither the fans who watched her nor the friends she made will soon forget. Yamiche Alcindor, a reporter and videographer covering national politics for the New York Times, joined us to discuss the legacy and influence of Ifill.
"I was about 19 and I met Gwen and one of her really good friends, Athelia Knight, at the Washington Post, because we had the same hairdresser in D.C.," Alcindor said. "I kept telling my hairdresser how much I really wanted to be a reporter and then met Gwen under a hairdryer one day."
Ifill helped mentor Alcindor, and provided internship advice, career guidance and reporting tips.
"As busy as she was, as much as she had all this other stuff going on and running her show, she would watch my 'Meet The Press' interviews and taught me how to prepare myself for radio and TV."
More than anything, Ifill provided Alcindor — and countless young women and would-be journalists of color — with a visual and vocal reminder of possibility. Ifill advised Alcindor to hold on to her full name, despite her habit of advising new acquaintances to call her Miche if they couldn't pronounce Yamiche, and to wear her hair however she wanted.
"When Ifill talks about little girls on the other side, that was me and my friends," Alcindor said. "We saw in this woman who was being a role model...this idea that a friend of mine is now sitting at an anchor desk in North Carolina and is a news anchor, that matters."
This segment aired on November 15, 2016.
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