Barbadian Ifill helms VP debate
Published on: 10/3/08.

Gwen Ifill, who will moderate the US Vice-presidential debate tonight, is of Barbadian heritage.

Last night, millions around the world watched the American vice-presidential debates.

The spotlight was on, not just for the candidates but the moderator for the evening, PBS’ Gwen Ifill, one of the most prominent black female journalists in the United States – and a Barbadian.

Yes – Ifill, who is the well-known host of PBS’ Washington Week programme and senior news correspondent on News Hour, is a Bajan. Though born in New York City, Ifill was raised in a Barbadian household, headed by her Barbadian mother Eleanor and her father Urcille Ifill Sr., a Panamanian of Barbadian descent. She was the fifth of six children born to the couple and moved around a lot during her childhood as her father was an African Methodist Episcopal church minister who had to live in several different cities as part of his work. She has credited her parents with piquing her interest in journalism, saying:

“From our parents, we inherited an abiding interest in the world around us. We grew up reading the newspaper every day.”

Ifill has previous experience of being in the political hot seat of election debates, having moderated the 2004 vice-presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards. That experience however, has not stopped some critics from questioning her impartiality as she is in the process of writing a book entitled “Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama”. The book focuses on a generation of rising African-American politicians and critics charged that because of this, Ifill has a vested interest in Obama winning the presidency.(AL-F)

Look out for a full feature on Gwen Ifill in the SUNDAY SUN.(Barbados newspaper)

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: