When I think of NABJ and DJTF treasurer Jamila Bey, I think two things — renaissance woman and career chameleon. She does it all — correspondent; broadcast host; spokesperson; producer; writer; editor; trainer communications director; and consultant.
Bey was very open when she lost her jobs at NPR, and, most recently, at Voice of Russia. While at VOR, she was the creator and host of the weekly radio show “Sex, Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR With Jamila.” Her show, which regularly featured journalists of color, covered topics including gender policy and politics, race, religion and issues of separation of church and state.
But you can’t keep a good woman down. Bey is now trying to become her own media outlet by launching an Indegogo funding campaign to create a journalism forum online and as an iTunes podcast where news about the issues that are important to us can find a home. She wants to bring her show, “The Sex, Politics and Religion Hour,” or SPAR, will focus on the beating that the First Amendment seems to be taking at this point.
Bey will produce 30 half-hour long shows taking on issues including separation of state and church, First Amendment freedom, politics, and science policy. It will be a forum for discussion and insight, along with actual reporting and investigation.
The goal is to offer independent polling and on-the-ground reporting from Washington, D.C., and around the country with a team of correspondents and contributors. From Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House, to local school boards and state legislatures, Bey’s site will look at news from the point of view that religion shouldn’t get a free pass from scrutiny and fair criticism when looking at its involvement in larger American life.
With the help of campaign contributors, Bey says she will produce stories that will deeply examine the news and news makers to help Americans better understand that the First Amendment can only survive if it’s allowed to stand in the sunshine. Regular readers of this blog know I’m a big supporter of funding good journalism, because if we don’t do it, who will?