First black president; now how about some journalists?


The National Association of Black Journalists notes that the citizens of the United States “were able to put race on the backburner long enough to elect a biracial candidate.” But according to NABJ president Barbara Ciara, “By our accounts, in the midst of this monumental campaign for the Oval Office, black journalists had little to no opportunity to cover the candidates or the issues. Now in the midst of this defining moment, as the White House press corps is being formed to cover this country’s 44th President, NABJ urges the news media to gather their own transition team for change.”

She continued, “To date, not one black journalist hosts a Sunday morning or daily news and commentary show on the major cable and television networks. There are no African American executive producers at network newscasts and shows such as Today, Good Morning America and the CBS Early Show, and minorities account for 11.4 percent of all supervisors in newsrooms. These statistics are particularly important because it reflects who makes newsroom assignments and decides what news is worth covering.”

RBR/TVBR observation: There are a number of issues perennially on the table concerning minorities and broadcasting, and this is yet another facet of the whole. It will be very interesting to see if progress on these difficult issues speeds up in the coming years.