Yamiche Alcindor Is Named Host of ‘Washington Week’ on PBS

Final month, when Yamiche Alcindor realized she would develop into the subsequent moderator of the PBS current-affairs present “Washington Week,” she instantly felt the emotion of the second.

“I principally immediately cried,” Ms. Alcindor recalled, “fascinated with Gwen.”

“Washington Week,” a relaxed redoubt within the shouty battleground of political tv, is most carefully related to its longtime moderator Gwen Ifill, the pioneering journalist who broke obstacles as a Black girl within the Washington press corps.

Earlier than her loss of life in 2016, Ms. Ifill additionally turned a mentor to Ms. Alcindor, the White Home correspondent at “PBS NewsHour.” Beginning with the episode on Friday, Ms. Alcindor, 34, will take Ms. Ifill’s previous chair on the helm of “Washington Week.” She succeeds Robert Costa, a reporter for The Washington Submit who took over in 2017 and left the present this yr.

PBS and WETA-TV, the Washington affiliate that produces this system, introduced the appointment of Ms. Alcindor on Tuesday.

“I understand how a lot ‘Washington Week’ meant to Gwen, and the way a lot she put her stamp on the legacy of the present,” Ms. Alcindor, who’s Haitian-American, stated in an interview. “I additionally really feel this unimaginable duty to assume deeply about taking this on and making it a present that folks wish to watch, that folks will really feel resides as much as its nice legacy.”

Ms. Alcindor will proceed to cowl President Biden for “NewsHour,” whereas additionally staying on as a contributor to NBC Information and MSNBC. Beforehand, she was a reporter for The New York Occasions and USA At this time.

She stated that she had been a “Washington Week” viewer since school, and that she needed to widen the scope of a present generally steeped in D.C. arcana. She additionally plans to keep up the civil tone — “a way of respect and respectability,” as she put it — that has been the present’s signature since its 1967 debut.

“There could be this sense, when you find yourself working and residing in Washington, that the whole lot is about what’s happening in D.C.,” Ms. Alcindor stated. “A lot of what has guided my journalism is, how are weak populations being impacted by these insurance policies? That will likely be my guiding gentle.”

As a White Home reporter, Ms. Alcindor gained some fame as a frequent goal of former President Donald J. Trump’s ire at information conferences. On one event in 2018, Mr. Trump labeled her query as “racist” after she requested if his insurance policies had emboldened white nationalists. “As a Black girl, it wasn’t the primary time that somebody had focused me or stated one thing about me that I knew to not be true,” Ms. Alcindor recalled.

When Ms. Alcindor was first booked as a visitor on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” she stated, she referred to as Ms. Ifill “in a panic.”

She recalled Ms. Ifill’s recommendation: “She principally informed me, ‘You’re a reporter who is aware of simply as a lot because the individuals round that desk. You earned this, and you might be prepared for this.’”

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