Urban Presence

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The Visitation Sisters of North Minneapolis model gentleness and humility while living as a spiritual presence in a marginalized urban community.

It looks like just another house on just another block in just another American neighborhood. Tidy hostas line the walkway to the front door, pretty wicker chairs are circled on the front porch, and the doorbell chimes in a familiar four-note melody.

The sweet-faced, gray-haired women who answer the door look familiar, too: They might be AARP members, someone’s great aunts, or even just friendly next-door neighbors to anyone in any city. They greet callers with warm smiles and understanding nods, sometimes dispense a lemon bar or a glass of water, and love to hear the news about who’s just had a new baby down the block or who’s in from out of town to visit relatives.

But this house sits in one of the most violent, poor, and crime-riddled neighborhoods in Minneapolis, and the six women in it are Visitation sisters living a monastic life in an inner-city setting. The monastery is housed in two typical neighborhood homes a block apart in the Near North area of Minneapolis, a neighborhood that, in crime maps of the city, has one of the highest concentrations of gunshots fired and violent crimes.

The sisters are there to live a spiritual life in an urban setting and to participate in a community of people who are often marginalized or overlooked.

They are, as their neighbors fondly call them, “nuns in the hood.”

Monastic life

Most monasteries are peaceful refuges, withdrawn from interruptions and distractions, city congestion, and, often times, other people. Monastics tend to renounce worldly goods and draw away from the secular world in order to embrace the spiritual one within their secluded cloisters.

This North Minneapolis monastery has its roots in 17th-century France, where St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal founded the Visitation order. The order takes its name from the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and bases its tenets on the virtues of the Virgin making the visit: gentleness, simplicity, humility, patience, optimism, respect, and interiority. Salesian spirituality is based on de Sales’ belief that everyone is called to be holy, that relating to and helping others are devout callings, and that living daily life doing ordinary things can be passionately spiritual – without necessary withdrawing from the world.

There are 11 Visitation monasteries in the United States, and about half of them are traditional and contemplative. The order calls these monasteries the First Federation. Days are spent in scheduled private and group prayer, reading, religious study, and in domestic tasks such as gardening or baking. These monasteries are sometimes housed in stone edifices behind iron gates or in peaceful pastoral settings apart from cities or towns. The remaining five monasteries, the Second Federation, seek livelier, more constant interaction with their outside communities – like running schools. One of these five is the unique urban monastery in Minneapolis.

Before coming to Minneapolis in 1989, three sisters at the Visitation Academy of St. Lous devoted 10 years to prayer and reflection about what kind of meaningful work they might do. Sister Mary Frances Reis, who joined the other three by praying from her monastery in St. Paul and who now acts as community leader of the Minneapolis monastery, recalls often asking, “Lord, what would you have me do?” The answer, the four founding sisters came to believe, was not to run a treatment center or a school but to be a prayerful, spiritual presence in a marginalized community. “The answer,” Reis says, “was ‘I want you to go and live, and when the doorbell rings, you get your agenda.'”

The founding sisters proposed two ideas to the Second Federation leadership. One, says founding member Sister Mary Margaret, was “to do what existing monasteries do, and one was go out to the poor, marginalized, and stressed in the community.”

In 1988 the Second Federation leadership approved the latter, and the four founding sisters moved to Minnesota.

Living in an urban monastery

Many monastic contemplatives are engaged with their own rich spiritual lives that are, well, nearly silent. Not these nuns.

They blog. They tweet. They have a Facebook page. They post YouTube videos.

Committed to the goal of maintaining a prayerful, spiritual presence in their neighborhood, the nuns make themselves visible on social media, at community events, and in everyday interactions with their neighbors. They organize spiritual retreats for area women and coordinate scholarships to send children to Catholic Youth Camp, an overnight camp in northern Minnesota. They help social service organizations and volunteers connect with North Minneapolis families and people in need by “bridging” – linking services to people and linking those in need with those interested in helping.

But the two homes set a block apart are still a monastery. The nuns awake at 6 a.m. for an hour of prayer and meditation Then they come together at 7 for morning prayer, where neighbors can join them in chanting psalms and scripture readings. Eucharist is at 8, noon is midday prayer, 4:45 p.m. is evening prayer, and then more time for personal prayer before night prayer at 8:15 p.m.

A sign at the door lets visitors know when they may ring the bell and join the nuns in prayer or ask for help. The sisters say that these incursions to the monastery are not seen as disruptions but as opportunities to meet and welcome Christ. Sister Karen Mohan, a founding member of the monastery, calls those ringing doorbells “punctuation that prepares to meet Jesus.”

This blend of contemplation and engagement creates unique sort of monastic life that encourages seeing interruptions as invitations, and it follows the Salesian idea of seeking the presence of good in real persons with real needs.

A spiritual presence in the community

“Being intentional about prayer life goes with us to the door,” says Sister Katherine Mullin, vocations director, who grew up in Minneapolis and has been with the Visitation Monastery in North Minneapolis for 15 years, moving from the Visitation Monastery in St. Paul, which she entered in 1959. Contemplatives are trained in the transcendent, she says, cultivating solitary meditation and prayer while valuing deep inner personal awareness that hopefully manifests as stability and calm. The urban monastery is neither a retreat nor a mission, but a space of gentle spirituality and prayer that offers listening and reflection to neighbors who live in violence and hardship.

Today at the door it’s Justin, a blonde teenager who has been coming to the sisters since he was about 4 years old. He’s in need of “three eggs” – not two, not four – for an omelet. He sees a bowl set out on a table for a visitor. “Are those nuts?” he asks. Two of the sisters speak gently to him, and he gets a hug before one brings him into the kitchen. The hungry boy leaves carrying eggs and a bag of nuts.

A man stops by and asks for bus tokens so he can travel downtown to a hospital to offer reassurance to a young gunshot victim. The man and the nuns begin to talk, and soon he’s opening up about his marital troubles – his wife uses to many credit cards, and there’s a problem with her spending. The nuns listen and then pray with him.

Another man wants to share his thoughts on racial tensions in the city, including the July 2016 shooting of Philando Castile across the river and about six miles away in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul.

Sometimes the visitor at the door is new to the monastery. Many times it is an old friend – a new father that the sisters have known since he was 4 years old, a young teen who says “these women helped raise me,” a mother who has known the sisters for years.

“I heard about you,” says a first-time visitor. “You don’t have much, but you share what you’ve got.”

People come to the door for practical help, but they also come to talk, to pray, to open up about what is particularly hard about life that day. “It’s little things,” says Sister Mary Margaret. “But little things are really big things.” Treating each visitor with great respect, learning and honoring their life story, praying together, and very often, laughing together, even when the circumstances are hard – these “little things” are the essential components of the nuns’ Salesian spirituality.

The urban monastic approach the sisters practice is simply to be present. To live in the neighborhood, to be in the community with the neighbors, and to consider these interactions to be their work. Where some monasteries might bake bread or grow herbs or care for the sick or even teach school, these nuns make sacred ground in the inner city by being caring and gentle neighbors in a sometimes uncaring and violent part of town.

The needs of this community are daunting and urgent, and its pain is palpable. In May 2016, the fatal drive-by shooting of a woman sitting in her car made headlines. In July 2016, another drive-by killed one toddler and wounded another. Addiction, abuse, grinding poverty, and violence are not abstract concepts here but daily life challenges and gritty realities.

A friend of the sisters, Carolyn Brooks, says, “Having been born and raised here, I can say that it’s not like it used to be. When I hear about people killing and being killed – ” she pauses for a moment and wipes her eyes, and other visiting neighbors listening to her nod. “It used to be fists and yelling, but now it’s knives, guns, banging on doors at night, drive-bys.”

Balancing chaos and calm

This is not the environment that initially seems conducive to attempting to live an introspective life. But the sisters seem to transmute that chaos around them by treating each visitor who comes to the door with great respect and care, listening to their story, and responding to it with unconditional, nonjudgmental acceptance. “The people who come to the door are changing us,” says Sister Karen. “They reveal the face of Christ.”

However, “these women are no fools, they know what’s going on, they know what we face,” says a neighbor, Dianna Bady, a mother of a blended family of nine children. “These sisters are coming from a good place. They love us to death.”

The sisters do not have much to give – they can spare a bus token or a $10 gift card for the grocery store. Some days it feels frustrating to not have more to give, to not have more power to right the very large wrongs around them, and to have such human limitations of resources and time.

“Sometimes we are very stretched,” acknowledges Sister Katherine. “But isn’t everyone in the world?”

They set appropriate boundaries. The children of the neighborhood are always eager to come to the house with the kind ladies who share cookies and listen so calmly, but a houseful of children is far from peaceful. A creative solutions to prayer time was reached: A colorful windsock is hung outdoors whenever the sisters are free to talk, play, or offer snacks. When the windsock goes up, little people are at the door. Those relationships begin with preschoolers have lasted into adulthood, and now the children of children who visited the nuns are ringing the bell.

Many of the parents in the community are deeply appreciative. Over the years the nuns have worked with other social organizations and individuals to help get services and goods to families in needs.

For the mothers, the nuns created a Mother’s Day gift to the community: a day-long women’s retreat that offers a chance for some 50 neighborhood women – Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and African American – to get to know each other over a meal and a day of talking and sharing.

“We realized that the neighbors trusted us, but not each other,” says Sister Katherine. “We thought if they could just get together and meet each other…”

Dianna nods. “Growing up as an African American, you’re not as trusting of people. If it wasn’t for you [the sisters], we wouldn’t know each other.”

A vision for the future

Slowly, the original four founding sisters grew to six, and then, recently, seven.

Brenda Lisenby was a Baptist missionary, moving between Hong Kong and China for 20 years before coming to the Minneapolis Visitation Monastery in 2014 as a monastic immersion experience resident. Some monasteries offer such residencies to laypeople as ways to learn about the order or live the contemplative life for a short period of time. Last May Brenda entered the novitiate to being a two-year formation. At the end of those two years, she will make first profession and then become a vowed sister.

Her days follow the regimen of contemplation and prayer as the rest of the sisters, but she particularly focuses on reading and studying for “spiritual formation” – spiritual education, deepening, and growth. She devotes morning hours to prayer and reflection, but then heads downstairs “to see what needs doing.” Today she answers to the door to a young man needing something to eat and bus tokens. She fixes him a sandwich, gets him his tokens, and talks with him while he eats.

“I think that is the beauty of living in a real house, not a traditional monastic building,” says Brenda. “There is no institutional feel, only the welcome a front porch, a backyard, a home garden. It is not intimidating and allows us to welcome those who might never feel comfortable in a traditional monastic setting.”

An urban monastery can combine the stability and balance of a monastic life with the social action and ministry of apostolic life, and this blend intrigues her. “I value hospitality and inclusiveness,” says Brenda. “What I value about this urban monastery is the integration of contemplative prayer and action. Because we are not cloistered in the traditional sense – our monastery garden being in the neighborhood – we are able to be present to our neighbors and share our home and prayer with them. Because we are not living behind walls, we are approachable, accessible, and only a doorbell ring away.” Further, on the monastery’s website, she writes, “I am thinking that monastic communities of the 21st century will bear little resemblance to the monastic communities of [early] Christendom. Even tradition apostolic communities are looking for new ways to be community and new ways of belonging that opens the doors for a more ecumenical inclusiveness.”

The 27-year-old Minneapolis Visitation Monastery is currently updating it’s long-range plan, which they do every three years. Rather than imposing actions on the monastery from the top down, the sisters are interviewing their constituents – their neighbors – to find out what they need, which monastery activities help them most, and what else they require. The monastery’s back-to-school party, where children fill backpacks with donated school supplies, is highly praised because it allows families to stretch exhausted resources to provide for their children. Also popular is a Christmas program in which the sisters have adults fill out which lists, share them with local donor organization, and then help distribute the goods back to the families.

The “nuns in the hood” speak warmly about how the community has changed and enriched them. But even the youngest of the neighbors recognize the effect on the community of proximity to lives lived in quiet contemplation and spirituality.

Sister Mary Margeret tells a story of one day when she was swinging outside with a very young boy from the neighborhood. “When you move…” he bagan.

“Oh, we’re not moving. We are here to stay.”

“When you move,” he began again.

And again she reassured him that the sisters were not going to move away.

“When you move,” he said patiently, and Sister Mary Margaret then decided to let him speak. “When you move, things will have been better because you were here.”

This article ran in the January 2017 issue of U.S. Catholic

Art: Revealing the Us In The Other

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It is not a passive thing to sit in the audience. It is also not a safe thing.

We file in, avoiding eye contact and clutching tickets. We sort ourselves into aisles that are lettered and numbered in illogical fashion, we search for but can’t spell mezzanine, and we politely share the armrests as though nothing transformative is about to happen and as if we will emerge in two hours utterly unscathed.

But we were wrong.

When the curtain rises or the dancer enters or the baton drops or the singer exhales – if it is good art, and heck, sometimes even if it is bad art – the cacaphony of the disparate lives of 200 or 400 or 1,200 people in the audience is stilled. Some common human ground is found and tilled and made fertile, and our hearts are laid bare to each other and to ourselves.

We can know nothing about people, yet when we listen to the rise and fall of their music, some visceral place in them touches a visceral place in us. Without living another life, we come to know another life. We believe that we are unique, that we are the first generation to be outraged by injustice or feel true passion, but art reveals the artifice in that sort of thinking. We learn that we share the ages, we share the planet and we are not the only ones who have suffered great loss or love to tap dance.

It would be rude to look a stranger in the eye and ask to see his soul. But, from the audience, we can clearly see it.

Art engenders empathy. In its beauty and its ugliness, art reveals what it is to be humane. Art bypasses small talk and inserts us into the hearts and minds of those whom we might otherwise overlook. Art reveals the us in the other. Art has the profound power to show us we are not alone.

I teach a course in writing about the arts. I bring students to galleries, the ballet, the symphony, the theatre, and the opera. Even if their early education has been excellent, this is often their first Vivaldi and Shepard and Balanchine and Pollock. First, we read good critical writing about the art form of the week. Then, we go backstage, to rehearsal or to the studio to learn that art is made with effort and deliberation, that a ballerina’s feet are covered in calluses, and that a good cello costs as much as a small house. Finally, they dress in carefully pressed dresses and badly chosen ties, attend the performance, and write a critical review, à la Roger Ebert.

They learn that “I didn’t like it” does not constitute insight. They learn that claims should be backed up with logic. They learn to look up rather than guess how to spell Tchaikovsky, to actually read the program notes and to stop dangling their participles. They learn that “good” is not a precise adjective and that the world “relatable” sets my teeth on edge. And, as valuable as it is to learn how to write a coherent sentence that communicates a clear idea, they learn a life lesson that is not at all about writing. They tell me about it in their final essay in the course.

“Art takes us out of our comfort zones into a world we didn’t even know existed.”

“While the media is telling us what to think, artists guide us to think in a different way.”

“This was my first symphony. It will not be my last.”

“Covering art is not just letting people know when some art gallery opens, but letting people know that gallery is a glimpse into the world around us, as well as our own identities.”

“Here I was, a sports writer in the land of violas and pirouettes. … It was my growth mentally as a person that was tested here, wrapping my brain around the arts, beautiful creations that I had never been exposed to, and making my own sense out of them. I believe that I not only survived, but learned to thrive and embrace a world, once thought to be another dimension by me, as my own.”

The formation of the mind and heart of students is one of five themes that shaped the university’s strategic plan – a plan that envisions Marquette as a place where students examine the purpose of their lives in the context of a world larger than their own backyard.

Yet how can students come to understand what is beyond their own experience? A student can’t be lectured into becoming a socially conscious and humane professional. A compassionate heart and soul can’t be formed on command.

But students can make and witness art. They can stand on the stage and sit in the audience. Even if they don’t speak the language, they can see the canvas and hear the music, and there, souls and hearts speak to each other without boundaries.

It can be a brave thing to sit in an audience. It requires nothing less than being fully human. We already know how to understand each other. From the audience, we can clearly see it.

Women’s Work

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A cancelled series reveal the fight for women’s pay equality is still underway.

Once upon a time, in 1969, women weren’t “allowed” to wear slacks at the office. This wasn’t for modesty – miniskirts and tight dresses were fine, 9-5. The dress code was to keep gender difference clearly delineated, as in the classic insult to assertive wives: “She wears the pants in that family.” When the chino ceiling finally cracked in office buildings across America, women could wear trousers in public, but only if they also wore a matching jacket. The female pantsuit was born.

In the 1960s women were paid roughly half of what men earned, about 59 cents for every dollar a man took home. Fifty years later, women now earn 78 cents on the male dollar, so we’ve got that going for us. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of approaching pay equity has actually slowed in recent years, and 2152 is projected as the year when men and women will finally receive equal pay for equal work.

That means it will take another 135 years and five more generations of women before women and men earn equal wages. That’s more than 200 years after the National War Labor Board encouraged employers to pay women equitably in 1942 and almost 200 years after the Equal Pay Act was enacted in 1963.

In short, the gender wage gap is a rivetingly current issue, affecting women right now and into the far, far future. And it’s just one reason for the popularity of Amazon’s streaming series released in late October, Good Girls Revolt.

Like Mad Men, the period drama of advertising life in the ’60s, Good Girls Revolt is an engrossing (and educational) bit of time travel back to the world of news magazines in New York. The female researchers and male reporters at News of the Week, a thinly disguised Newsweek magazine, are immersed in the leading stories of the day: Vietnam, the Black Panther movement, women’s rights. And oh, the boots, the granny dresses, the wire-rimmed glasses, the fringed leather vests. The lava lamps, the rock concert posters, the vinyl albums playing on stereos, the utter lack of earbuds. The dependence on telephones that were tethered to cords and the lack of Google. the clack of typewriters on paper and the magazine design that uses a light table and no Photoshop.

The magazine staff is made up of male reporters who get bylines and twice the pay and female researchers who sometimes write stories without any credit and who come when summoned: “Go get your girl.” A long-time researcher tells a new hire: “They’re reporters, we’re researchers. We investigate and write files for the reporters, they do a pass on them, put their hands on them, and then the stories go to press.”

Researcher Patti Robinson wears long hair and short skirts, is tuned in to the political and musical climate of the ’60s, and has more passion for her job than does her reporter, Doug Rhodes. A fellow researcher, Jane Hollander, is cracklingly competent, but endures lunches with her wealthy father who wants her to work at a law firm where she might meet “more suitable” men, marry, and stop working. A third researcher, Cindy Reston, is trapped in a marriage with a controlling husband who pokes a hole in her diaphragm, hoping she’ll get pregnant and stay home.

Female applicants for the researcher job are asked for their waist measurement while male reporters hoot in the background. When a researcher scores a tough interview, her male coworkers say, “Atta girl, Patti” or, “You’re pretty cute when you’ve got a scoop.” At the end of a business meeting, an editor asks a researcher, “Young lady, can you get me a cup of coffee?” At a consciousness-raising meeting of the nascent Second Wave women’s movement, a leader asks, “How many of you have ever slept with your boss?” and almost all the women present raise their hands.

What Good Girls Revolt is so very, very good at is capturing the subtle, nuanced, often benevolent sexism of its age – and helping us recognize its iterations in our current historic moment. Good Girls Revolt makes current workplace discrimination visible (sometimes for the first time, according to fan blogs) to millenials who might have felt theirs is a world in which feminism is no longer relevant and activism for women’s rights no longer needed.

The series is a hit, with glowing reviews, high online ratings, and lively industry buzz. But in an ironic twist that could be a Good Girls Revolt plotline, the show about gender discrimination was just cancelled by Amazon. The Atlantic called the cancellation “infuriating” and an example of male-only decision-making that might have been reversed if women were present at the conference table.

This article appeared in the March 2017 issue of U.S. Catholic.

Who Runs The World?

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In CBS drama Madam Secretary, patriarchy matters a little less.

Madam Secretary (CBS, in its third season) breaks bold new ground in media portrayals of women leaders: Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord’s friends, family, colleagues, and even the President of the United States treat her as if, in fact, she can lead.

On television and in film, when women are running corporations or countries, they are often portrayed in ways that reinforce tired stereotypes and fears bout female leadership. Women in power are cast as unnatural, devious villains (Glenn Close’s Patty Hewes in Damages) or unnatural icy machines (Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood in House of Cards) or unnatural, brittle witches (Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada).

Unnatural is the key word. The ability co command authority – and other people – is typically treated in media as something outside of the female experience.

To lead, we’re told, female characters must abandon themselves as women, eschew friendship and love, and become humorless machines who live in uncomfortably tight skirts and painfully high heels (even when home feeding their cats). When shown with children, they are inept and clumsy. When shown with men, they are rapacious or bored. The treat colleagues and coworkers and competitors and employ unreasonable and inefficient management techniques, like murder and blackmail. This is a woman’s choice, at least in the medias’s usual ham-fisted interpretation of human relationships: Professional achievement requires reversing the “natural” feminine attributes of nurturance and caretaking, adopting a frozen exterior, and skirting perilously close to being a sociopath.

Enter Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni), whom we meet while she is cannily unmasking a student’s excuses about an assignment. She leaves the young man’s dignity intact, but her high expectations for his performance are unequivocal. Later, while she is mucking out a stall and wearing messy braids (no high heels in a horse barn), the president arrives in a motorcade. They worked together at the CIA, where he admired her ethics, original thinking, and patriotic scruples, and he now wants her as Secretary of State.

McCord manages her staff, her boss’ expectations, her and her peers from around the world with a lively mix of intelligence, wit, humanity, and charm. Oh, and she is utterly capable of the job. She believes in the agency and ability of the people she helps govern. She wrestles with recalcitrant ambassadors with compassion and firmness. She is facile with Middle Eastern history and customs and speaks several languages. She Skypes with world leaders, treats people of all backgrounds with respect, and is simultaneously eloquent and down-to-earth. She deals with a Cabinet of mostly men, some of whom can be patronizing.

Wonderfully, Madam Secretary does not lean on the weary plot device of men being annoyed at finding women in the workplace, as if misogyny was news. It may be to some men, but it’s a fact of life to women, who every day must find ways over, under, around, or through persistent sexism. Patriarchy is entrenched and commonly encountered by most women in almost every area of life. To treat patriarchy as if it as aberrant occurrence that can be overcome by simply proving your worth in the workplace minimizes its insidious effects on the everyday lives of men and women. Patriarchy is far more prevalent and complex than that.

The most interesting thing about being Secretary of State is not getting a boy down the hall to like you. McCord grapples with demanding and oppositional agendas of nations small and large – which include the very real kinds of sexism that get women harmed and killed – in one of the most intriguing jobs on the planet. By taking that position, Madam Secretary helps patriarchy matter just a little less.

Madam Secretary also avoids clichéd family plot lines. Media children of strong women are often portrayed as bratty and pouty, acting out because if mom is out there in the world, surely she is failing significantly at home. But McCord is warm, loving, and deeply engaged with her three children, who are not drawn as sickeningly cutesy, idiotic teens or charmless snarks. Her son is an anarchist, and his parents give him room for his views and opinions; one daughter leaves college before graduation, but her life is not ruined, and she begins to find her own way; and the other is a fashion maven who wants to be a stylist to the stars. They are proud of their mother, as they should be.

Media husbands often act emasculated by their wife carrying a briefcase, can’t change a diaper or cook mac and cheese, and are plunged into depressed loneliness if left alone for an evening. Not Elizabeth McCord’s husband. Henry McCord (Tim Daly) tosses the parenting ball back and forth with his wife with competence and good humor. In a bustling family kitchen one morning, he reminds his three children that their mother has to get out the door to “go save the world.” He delivers the line with no rancor, jealously, or sarcasm. That’s actually her job, and he gets out of her way so she can do it.

Travel and work demands do strain their time together, and they do experience conflict, but they talk about it intelligently and respectfully. They praise each other in public and in private and they truly admire each other. They flirt, laugh, tease, and annoy each other. They appear functional. This is so uncommon among media marriages that it is striking.

Media stories aren’t reality, but they are the narratives that we insist on telling ourselves. Finally we have begun to tell ourselves that 50 percent of the world can lead at the office, too. High time. Madam Secretary is smart, funny, instructive, and telling. Brava.

This article ran in the June 2017 issue of U.S. Catholic.

Stop the Press: The Future of Journalism Is Not Post-Political

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Discussions of the future of journalism center on new economic models, digital modes of distribution, and how to attract young audiences. But what of how future journalism might represent, describe, and critique issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality? And what of the race, gender, class, and sexuality of future journalists themselves? Issues of industry survival take center stage in debates about journalism’s future. Issues of integrity, wisdom, and increased levels of equity in coverage and employment have less success finding the spotlight. Concern over how to deliver news in the coming decades generally trumps debate about who might deliver it and the character of what might be delivered. The importance of political economy analyses of new journalism, coupled with keeping gender, race, and sexuality identities front and center, is emphasized.

Read the full article in PDF form here.