The Virginian-Pilot is promoting a new project.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you “Dividing Lines,” a report on Norfolk’s racial division.
But the writers — two men and a woman — have a secret.
And they need to air it out.
Lest you misunderstand, all three…are white.
And, therefore, they’re privileged.
And, therefore, they’re blind.
The paper tweeted to let the cat out of the bag:
“For full disclosure, the people behind this reporting are white and benefit from numerous privileges that the disadvantaged populations highlighted in this project do not, ‘So we have blind spots.'”
For full disclosure, the people behind this reporting are white and benefit from numerous privileges that the disadvantaged populations highlighted in this project do not, "So we have blind spots."
Meet the "Dividing Lines" team here:https://t.co/O4oGy9fUTm
— The Virginian-Pilot (@virginianpilot) January 21, 2021
If I’ve figured this correctly, either:
The notice is absurd.
The privileged white workers have no business reporting on residents who are different than they.
I’m willing to accept either, but if the 2nd is correct, why would anyone want to bother reading the botched report?
Find journalists who are up to the task, AKA non-Caucasians.
Your readers will wait for a proper production.
Maybe they’re just trying to keep up with — literally — the times.
As reported by The Washington Free Beacon, a newsroom racial reckoning’s collecting quite the following:
In a similar move, the New York Times Guild said in a memo last summer that the paper would move toward mirroring the city’s exact racial demographics in its newsroom. The guild claimed its concern with viewpoint diversity began a month before, with an op-ed written by Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) that black staff members said put them “in danger.”
[Read more about the Big Apple outlet’s Cottonmouth malady here.]
The Guild indicated it’s got some reconfiguring to do:
“Our workforce should reflect our home: The Times should set a goal to have its workforce demographics reflect the makeup of New York City—24% Black and over 50% people of color—by 2025.”
Our workforce should reflect our home: The Times should set a goal to have its workforce demographics reflect the makeup of New York City—24% Black and over 50% people of color—by 2025. (2/8)
— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) July 31, 2020
Back to Virginia, the insufficiently-melanated trio spilled their benefitted beans in a separate article running alongside the new series:
All three of us grew up in white, suburban areas. We went through school with classmates who looked like us. As adults, we live in largely white neighborhoods and socialize in largely white spheres.
Not to worry — apparently, the Pilot’s planning to either hire some people who aren’t white or fire some people who are:
Our newsroom is not as diverse as we would like, something we are working to change.
Meanwhile, in a daring effort toward accuracy, the reporters will be speaking to other people:
Reporters Ryan Murphy and Sara Gregory have routinely consulted with Black colleagues about this project. And as the project goes on, they will be speaking with people from across the city and beyond in town-hall style forums that invite residents to talk about racial issues and ask questions about their reporting.
As noted by The Daily Caller, Ryan and Sara admitted, “It [would] be better if a person of color or a Norfolk native — or both — were among the reporters.”
What do you think — would you read a report by vision-impaired people of privilege?
If such a disclaimer’s gonna become the rule, I have a recommendation: How about we use it before anyone speaks in Washington?
After all — they’re supremely privileged; how can they imagine what it’s like to be us?
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