Opinion: Despite What Viewers Assume, Angela Yee from “The Breakfast Club” is Not a Journalist


October 14, 2021




Angela Yee is a radio personality on “The Breakfast Club,” a radio show and podcast based in New York City. She hosts her own segment on the “The Breakfast Club” called ‘“Rumor Report’” where she talks about what is going on in the world whether it involves entertainment, fashion, relationships or politics.

Yee does gather, assess, create, and present news and information to the audience who listens to “The Breakfast Club.” With some of the topics she discusses, such as politics and citizens’ rights she shows she is dedicated to the public. Everyday, Yee shares a story that is trending in the media, and sometimes  gives her own opinion about the story. 

I have always questioned if she could be considered a journalist because of the way she delivers the news. She shares with her audience what is going on in the world or talks about topics that are trending.

According to the American Press Institute, “Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information.”  After presenting the news and information, Yee often gives her opinion on the topic.  

For example, on her rumor report episode “The Breakfast Club Reacts to Dave Chapelle’s Netflix Special ‘The Closer,’ Yee gives her opinion that society always overshadows the good in a person because they focus on one bad comment or action. She rejects criticism of Chapelle for his transphobic material in his comedy special. “I noticed that people didn’t focus on what he had to say about Daphne, that’s how he ended “The Closure” (his comedy show). Daphne is a transgender woman comedian, who was supportive of him. If you don’t agree with Dave Chapelle, at least hear what he is saying, I mean he is a comedian,” she said. 

The Pew Research Center gives four core principles of journalism: an obligation to the truth, staying loyal to the public, verifying all the facts, and remaining as unbiased as possible. Angela Yee does not necessarily fulfill one of the core principles, and though she does fulfill the others, that’s not enough to make her a journalist.

For example, in the episode “R.Kelly Faces Racketeering And Sex Crime Charges As Federal Trial Begins This Week,” she also reported a story about professional basketball player La’Melo Ball and his reason for not going to college. “La’Melo Ball has no regrets about skipping college for the NBA and he did an interview with GQ, they profiled him. He’s 19 years old, and he talked about leaving high school and skipping college to play professionally overseas on the way to the NBA. He said, ‘You want to go to the leagues, so school is not your priority. We not tripping off school, we not dumb, we know how to learn, we don’t need school and school is not even teaching you anything, what is school?’ He also said that he believes the NCAA must provide more options for elite players to make money on the way to the NBA as well.” 

She did go on to say that La’Melo Ball did go on social media to offer some clarification on what he stated about not needing college. His point was that school is not for everyone, but if you want to go to school to become a doctor or lawyer, then school would be necessary.  

Yee was, in fact, transparent with her audience and did not manipulate her report about what the basketball player said, the story was accurate. Her report about his opinion on attending college was word-for-word.  

Yee had her audience in mind by asking, “Is college worth it?” According to Nieman Reports, “Rather than selling customers content, news people are building a relationship with their audience based on their values, on their judgment, authority, courage, professionalism, and commitment to community. Providing this creates a bond with the public.”  This shows that she is very committed to her audience and her bond with the audience will keep them coming back to listen to her reports.  

She verified the facts while reporting the story about La’Melo Ball. She quoted everything he said while making this statement about college education. She also verified this information by reading his comments from his social media account. La’Melo Ball: “Let me rephrase, school is not for everybody, but if you want to be a doctor, take that a_ _ to school. So please don’t be going to your mamas talking about some ‘I don’t want to do school, Melo said you don’t need it when you are not like that.”  

Yee could be considered biased in this argument. Although she was not unfairly prejudiced, she did disagree with his statement about going to college. “I appreciated college,” she said. “I’m not any of those things —doctor, lawyer, engineer— but I did learn a lot. I wouldn’t say that school doesn’t teach you anything, I wouldn’t say that.”

In my view, Yee is not a journalist because she doesn’t show a commitment to all of the core principles of journalism. She sometimes engages in journalistic work, but that doesn’t make her a journalist.

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