In the sixth grade, Alesia Bani’s class took a trip to the WHYY newsroom in Philadelphia. She was enamored with the journalists and admired their skill of relaying the news to the public. That experience solidified Bani’s future career choice, and she now majors in journalism at Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication with a concentration in International Communication. She will graduate in spring 2022. Bani is considering applying for a Fulbright Award, but she’s undecided if she wants to pursue a master’s degree or teach English in another country. As a journalist, Bani hopes to share the stories of people who are ignored by the mainstream media.
Bani is a co-host on Temple University TV’s “We Need To Talk,” the network’s first all-female talk show. She enjoys on-camera broadcasting as well as working with three talented women. The hosts discuss a range of topics from social media to body image.
While at Temple, Bani has written for the Intersection segment of The Temple News, which focuses on issues of race, culture, gender, sexuality in the Temple and North Philadelphia communities. She was also the section’s editor. Bani serves as an equity reporter/intern for “The Idealist,” a magazine launched by Temple’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership.
Over the last year, there has also been a long-overdue acknowledgment of the countless Black lives that have been taken due to police brutality by mainstream media, but there’s still work to be done within newsrooms. The issue of race in the United States along with coronavirus coverage have exemplified the socioeconomic and racial disparities evident in this nation, and the way we frame our language as journalists is essential to building trust among our audiences. It has become very clear to me that outside of my liberal bubble, older white editors in newsrooms around the country are still falling behind when it comes to reporting on race.
Recently while working as a freelance writer, Bani was tasked with interviewing a source for an article on critical race theory. Even though the source refuted the existence of systemic racism, white privilege, and police brutality during the interview, the editor wanted Bani to lead the piece with this source. She refused and wrote the article differently than originally intended. She was not given the opportunity to read the finished product and therefore did not allow the work to be published. Bani took a stand on her ethics as both a journalist and a human being, but this did not come without anxiety. She relied on this freelance position for income and could have experienced backlash from the editor. Thankfully, this did not happen, and Bani wants other students to know that they should not allow themselves to be manipulated into publishing skewed reporting.
If she had one wish that would be granted, Bani’s wish for the world would be the eradication of poverty.
“I wish for everyone to have the ability to provide for their families and never worry about basic necessities such as food, shelter, and water, and for education never to be seen as a luxury item,” she said.
For herself, Bani wishes for the ability to travel the world without financial stress.
Number one on her bucket list is to visit Costa Rica, which she plans to do when traveling is safer regarding COVID.