Article on Interracial Relationships Earns Communication Student Outstanding Digital Reporting Award

Erika LeFlouria, a junior Media Communication Studies major, was one of two recipients of the Outstanding Digital Reporting Award at the 2021 North Carolina A&T Short Course Program for her article discussing the interview between Oprah Winfrey and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The article titled “The Interracial Impact of the Meghan and Harry Interview,” published on March 20, 2021 discusses the interview between Oprah Winfrey and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and shares reactions from other interracial couples around the United States. Leflouria crafted the article as a student in the 2021 North Carolina A&T Short Course Program.

The program is a four-day course that teaches students more about the journalism industry and connects them with mentors across the United States. Sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the NBCU Academy, this program separates students into different sections, so students learn to specialize in certain reporting areas.

During her time in the program, LeFlouria was a part of the digital reporting team where she worked on projects such as this one and attended workshops led by reporters, journalists, and news directors in the industry. She also had the opportunity to work with Elizabeth Gabriel, a Journalism Fellow at KLCC in Eugene, Oregon, to learn more about the industry and its potential career paths.

“Interracial relationships are such a beautiful topic and learning the pain that Meghan went through because of love, I decided to seek out the stories of others who don’t have a platform as big as hers,” said LeFlouria. “By bringing in the American draw to a British discussion, I began looking for subjects who voiced their opinions via social media and used the connections I have to find subjects.”

LeFlouria’s main goal was to model her subjects after the Duke and Duchess, interviewing couples with one black woman and one white man. She wanted to show the variety of interracial relationship experiences through her article in order to add to the importance of her message.

“By learning the stories of these black women, I learned the struggles and the joys that come from what should be a simple thing: love,” said LeFlouria. “By allowing these average couples to share how impactful and familiar the Oprah Winfrey interview was for them, I wanted to help the audience fully understand just how powerful that interview actually was.”

When reflecting on her time in the program, LeFlouria was proud of what she accomplished.

“To be recognized for my hard work and research in this short course program meant a lot to me,” said LeFlouria. “For two weeks, I stressed and gathered interviews for this article, staying up until 2:00am to get the article complete and perfected. Editing for a couple hours the next day while balancing classes, it felt like my work would never end. In the end, it felt good to know that my hard work had paid off.

“One thing that kept me going was remembering that chasing a good story is always worth it in the end, so even if I impacted one person, I was successful,” LeFlouria said. “To hear the positive feedback from the mentors made me feel ready to be a part of this industry even more. This short course program offered me amazing networking opportunities, tips going into the industry and a way to hear from the best black journalists in the nation. I am so thankful for that opportunity and to continue to grow as a member of the NABJ.”

To read LeFlouria’s article, click here.