J-School master’s project aims to inspire future Black female journalists

"Photo of Danneisha McDole"Danneisha McDole is a recent graduate of MSU’s J-School with a Master of Arts in Journalism. Her professional video project, finalized this past June, focused on and emphasized the struggles and expectations for Black women in the broadcast journalism and news industry. Through interviews with Jennifer Thomas, Eunice Elliott, Pamela D. Marshall-Koons, Renette S. McCargo and Linda R. White — each a former broadcast journalist with a successful career in the industry — McDole gives us insight into their experiences.

“One of the challenges that stuck out to me included one of my interviewees, Pamela, who shared that she was sent to cover a Klu Klux Klan rally,” said McDole. At the time, Marshall-Koons was the only African-American on the air at that station. “While covering that story, she was aggressively called racial slurs and overall involved in an uncomfortable and unfortunate situation. I couldn’t imagine going through that, and I forever admire her strength and power to keep going,” said McDole.

While each woman's experience was different, McDole discussed how an underlying theme presented itself. “Their experiences showcased the incredible opportunities they worked so hard for in the news industry. However, they still faced challenges in trying to increase their salary, covering topics that cost them their safety. How they were perceived by all audiences as a Black woman wasn’t easy, but they never gave up.”

“Black Women in Broadcast Journalism: Pathways for Success and Overcoming Challenges”

Master’s project by Danneisha McDole

Moving forward, McDole hopes that her project shows Black women of all ages that they can not only be successful in the journalism industry, but they are needed there as well. She has a goal in mind and will continue to work hard to achieve it: “To be a voice for others and for others to have a voice.”

McDole recently finished an internship at HOMTV and noted that Michigan State’s J-School faculty and program have helped her pursue her own career in broadcast journalism.

“MSU has an incredible journalism program that sets you up for success. I greatly appreciate MSU offering a bachelors’, master’s, and Ph.D. program as it is hard to find a school that offers all three of those opportunities for aspiring journalists. Enrolled students will learn, experience, network and be provided with everything they need for the journalism field,” said McDole.

“I would also love to acknowledge [Professor of Practice] Judy Walgren. She is amazing in the way that she cares for her students and goes the extra mile to make sure they are successful and happy in the program. I’m incredibly thankful for having her as a professor and for the work and dedication she puts forth!”


By Allie Horning