Profile: Yamiche Leone Alcindor


PBS NewsHour correspondent Yamiche Alcindor is among the winners of this year's journalism awards from the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA).


In recent weeks, Alcindor has made headlines for her clashes with the White House during press briefings and is the recipient of the Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage.


"Yamiche Alcindor is serious, incisive and — though she has a quiet demeanor — tough as nails," the WHCA said. "Her asylum seekers report was exceptionally well done. She has interesting new takes on national stories. Her work on immigration and race are sensitively handled."


"Alcindor’s qualities reflect integrity, impartial analysis, breadth and depth of knowledge of the presidency and a love of the institution. We look forward to watching her work for decades to come."


Alcindor became a familiar face to the American public following her questioning of the administration’s response to supporting governors’ requests for ventilators. In a clip that has been replayed millions of times, Alcindor held her ground during an openly hostile exchange in the Rose Garden. The exchange was fact-checked, and her line of questioning proven correct. Her hard-hitting journalism is deeply rooted in her education and her early jobs as a reporter. She was a moderator at the sixth Democratic debate. 


Following the exchange in the Rose Garden, Alcindor tweeted, "President Trump today at the White House said to me: 'Be nice. Don't be threatening.' I’m not the first human being, woman, black person or journalist to be told that while doing a job. My take: Be steady. Stay focused. Remember your purpose. And, always press forward."


In a column in The Washington Post on  March 30, headlined, "Yamiche Alcindor wants an answer, thank you very much," the paper's media critic, Eric Wemple, weighed in. He quoted a PBS spokeswoman in defense of Alcindor: "She is doing exactly what is expected of a free press in our democracy: posing timely, pertinent questions to those in power on behalf of the American people. She was hardly the only reporter in the Rose Garden yesterday, or at other times, to be on the receiving end of such treatment. It will not deter Yamiche from asking fair and direct questions, especially at such a critical time.”

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