Black Lawmakers Weigh in on CNN’s Lack of Diversity
The Congressional Black Caucus has also weighed in on the lack of diversity among CNN’s leadership ranks. Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA) issued a statement aligning the legislative body with the National Association of Black Journalists on the issue. “The CBC stands firmly with NABJ and asks that CNN implement policies that allow African Americans to obtain equal representation within the newsroom,” said Bass. “A newsroom that looks as diverse as America has the ability to raise awareness about issues impacting black and brown communities across the nation.” Earlier this month, NABJ called out the cable news giant for no Black executives who report directly to CNN President Jeff Zucker. NABJ’s research also showed that the news organization has no Black Executive Producers nor any Black VPs or SVPs on the news side. Since their findings were made public, national organizations representing millions of voices of color -- including the NAACP, NNPA, Color of Change, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. -- have joined the organization’s call for more diversity at CNN. Color of Change also has launched a petition around the issue. Bass recently met with a group of Black DC-based journalists. She said the Caucus is planning group trips around the country to meet with the public and to build closer ties with Black journalists. “I’m a news junkie and I like doing it, but we can’t get coverage. The TV — print is a little different, but not much. ‘Cause you call up and pitch stories and they won’t put you on,” Bass said at Richard Prince’s Journal-isms Roundtable. “They’ll put on the same five white guys every single day, and you would have no idea there’s 55 members of Congress [in the Caucus] -- so what we plan to do is, we plan to go in mass -- once a month to members’ districts and to have the community see us in our formal roles.” More here.