The National Association of Black Journalists issued a press release yesterday putting CNN on notice that they would be “monitored” due to concerns about a “lack of black representation” at the news network:
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is concerned about the lack of black representation within the ranks of CNN’s executive news managers and direct reports to CNN President Jeff Zucker. This concern, coupled with Zucker’s refusal to meet with a four-person NABJ delegation, has prompted NABJ to place CNN on a special media monitoring list.
A special team will perform further research and an analysis of CNN’s diversity, inclusion and equity practices, per the NABJ Board’s directive. The special team will also publicly report on identified deficiencies in hiring a diverse workforce in news decision-making capacities at CNN. NABJ is also calling for a civil rights audit that examines the company’s hiring, promotion and compensation practices involving black employees.
Specifically, NABJ is concerned about the findings of preliminary research that reveals the following:
▪ CNN President Jeff Zucker has no black direct reports.
▪ There are no black Executive Producers at CNN.
▪ There are no black Vice Presidents on the news side at CNN.
▪ There are no black Senior Vice Presidents on the news side at CNN.
BREAKING: The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has released a statement on CNN. It states CNN:
-Has no black Executive Producers
-Has no black VPs on the news side
-Has no black Senior VPs on the news side
-Has no black direct reports to CNN President Jeff Zucker pic.twitter.com/D9KxSuyY4o
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 6, 2019
Rev. Jesse Jackson weighed in:
@CNN Pres Zucker refused to meet w/a 4-person @NABJ delegation. There are no AF-Am direct reports. There are no AF-Am Exec Prods @CNN. There are no VP’s on the news side.There are no AF-Am SR VP’s on the news side of @CNN.Do not crush the darkness.Fight back with shifting eyes. pic.twitter.com/fVNp6DmGSd
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) March 5, 2019
Former CNN host Soledad O’Brein tweaked her former network on this issue last summer, which another Twitter user reminded people of this week:
— Karen Boykin-Towns (@KarenBTowns) March 6, 2019
The “Facts First” network responded to the NABJ with a statement of their own, via The Hill:
CNN said in a statement shared with The Hill that it was open to meeting with members of the group’s leadership team, but said that it would not be part of any meetings involving [NABJ VP-Digital Roland] Martin.
“For months, we have been working with NABJ to schedule a meeting because the relationship between CNN and NABJ is very important to us. As we have told them many times, we look forward to a thoughtful discussion about how both of our organizations can continue to work together. Unfortunately, the significant and reckless damage that Roland Martin did to CNN while partnering with us during a 2016 Democratic Town Hall has made any meeting that includes him untenable,” CNN said in the statement.
“Mr. Martin displayed an unprecedented and egregious lack of journalistic ethics and integrity by leaking questions prior to the town hall. As a result, we have told NABJ that CNN will not participate in any meeting that includes him. We have made it abundantly clear that we would be more than happy to sit down with the rest of their leadership team as soon as possible, and that offer still stands,” the network added.
Here’s a flashback to the 2016 question leaking scandal the network is referencing.
For what it’s worth, Martin is using his Twitter platform to nudge CNN, too:
This is part 2 of @CNN’s anchor emeritus Bernard Shaw speaking of diversity when he received the 2007 @NABJ Lifetime Achievement Award. And 12 years later, @NABJ is demanding to know where are @CNN President Jeff Zucker’s top Black news executives. #BlackMediaExecsMatter pic.twitter.com/E8JpAmGU9D
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) March 5, 2019
Sounds to me like this is Martin’s attempt at payback against CNN over what went down after it was discovered that he leaked those questions to the DNC’s Donna Brazile, as well as over the suspension he was put on in 2012 by the network over “”regrettable and offensive” Tweets written during the Super Bowl that critics said appeared to call for violence against gays.”
Grab the popcorn, y’all.
—Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–