“Moving around a lot just got me curious about a bunch of different things. I was sort of comfortable in a bunch of different environments and I always wanted to know more. So I think that part of just growing up and having bounced around the country and then abroad kind of informs my love for telling stories about the world we live in.”
Well-traveled Margo Snipe is a national health reporter for Capital B, a non-profit newsroom covering issues important to Black Americans.
Here are some excerpts from my conversation with her. If you want to listen to the whole podcast, click here.
The impact of living on another continent
“I lived in Rome, Italy for three and a half, four years. Went to an international school there. I think it exposed me to a lot of different things culturally.
I was fully in another culture for four years. I played volleyball on an all Italian team, so I can speak a bit of Italian. I learned some new languages, which I do think helped me understand the world and journalism a bit better.
And just getting comfortable, being uncomfortable starting out playing volleyball when it’s all Italian and you’re an American girl, can be pretty uncomfortable.
And I think journalism’s kind of the same when you kind of get thrown into situations that you’re, you don’t know the community, you don’t know the culture, the community. You kind of have to learn fast. I think that is a key part of my upbringing.”
Redefining what impact means
“I’ve seen a lot of our coverage on any beat sort of shift the way that other news outlets are covering topics. I know that Monkeypox was a big one where we wrote a story about how black Americans were disproportionately affected by it, but US officials weren’t talking about that.
That idea was just sparked from, we were listening to a media briefing and we didn’t hear the disparities mentioned at all. So we’re kind of (thinking), maybe that’s a story. We ended up writing it. And Atlanta did some good work on this too. And we saw other outlets start talking about how the virus was impacting black Americans.
So I think that that’s sort of shifting the way we view impact. It could be with federal agencies like FEMA (taking action), but it can also be around what conversations folks are having, whether that’s agencies or other journalists.”
How being a journalist changed her
“I think I notice a lot more about things that are happening. Before I started this maternal care project, I didn’t notice pregnant women as much as I do now.
I notice trends and patterns a lot more. And I think it’s always interesting too if you’re like at dinner with a friend or coffee with a friend. I think so much of the work journalists do come up in just conversation, which is really cool, and kind of add some depth to the life we’re living.”