Author and Political Analyst, CNN
Farai Chideya is a 27-year-old journalist and author
whose scope goes from print to television, and from African-American issues
to punk music.
Chideya embarked on a mission to destroy racial stereotypes with her 1995
book, Don't Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural
Misinformation About African-Americans. Using statistics largely from
government sources, she systematically undercuts the argument that African-Americans
are at the root of problems like crime, welfare and drugs. She draws on
anecdotes from her own experience as a reporter for four years at Newsweek
magazine to illustrate how the media works, and offers ways that all Americans
can better participate in the media, government, and society. Don't Believe
the Hype, a Plume/Penguin publication, is now in its sixth printing. She
is currently working on a new book for Scribner with the working title of
The Color of America: How The Nation's Most Diverse Generation is Reshaping
Chideya is a CNN Political Analyst offering commentary on the 1996 Presidential
election and other topics. She appears on the network's other programming,
including Talk Back Live and CNN & Company, and has appeared on other networks
including ABC' s "Nightline", CBS' s "Up to the Minute",
and BET'' s "Teen Summit" and "Town Hall Meeting on the Black
Chideya is a fall 1996 Research Fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies
Center in New York City. She will examine why young Americans are tuning
out and turning off the news.
Before joining CNN, Chideya was a political and music news writer at MTV
News, which tailors its reports to inform America's youth. From 1990 to
1994, she was a reporter for Newsweek magazine in New York, Chicago and
Washington. In the Washington bureau she covered national politics ranging
from skewering Congressional pork to following the President as a pool reporter
on Air Force One. As a freelance journalist, she has written extensively
about music, books and trends for The Village Voice and Spin, among others.
On the serious side, she's profiled white supremacists for Mademoiselle,
examined child sexual abuse allegations for the Los Angeles Times, and written
on affirmative action for The New York Times.
Chideya has won awards including a National Education Reporting Award (for
a Newsweek story in the cover package about the "World's Ten Best Schools"),
a Unity Award in Media (for a Newsweek story in a cover package on the black
family) and a GLAAD Award (for a Spin magazine story on homophobia in hip-hop).
In her off time she wanders the streets of downtown NYC in search of cheap
vintage clothing, cool contemporary artwork to stare at, and amusing anecdotes
she can weave into fiction.