NABJ to NPR: Diversity is Better but Not Enough!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Posted by: staff
Some say Juan Williams’ comments about Muslims were
wrong.Others say the former NPR news analyst's words
offended them, but they shouldn't have cost him his job.
While offering commentary for Fox News, Williams
said of getting on a plane: "If I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think
you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get
worried. I get nervous.”
Whether you side with Williams’ right to speak his
opinion or National Public Radio's decision to part ways with the veteran, his
firing creates a void at the network. Williams’ was one of the few African
American male voices heard on NPR.
That is the area that remains a key concern for the
National Association of Black Journalists. Our leadership met with NPR
executives in 2009 after releasing an open letter criticizing the network's
lack of diversity in management. We took this opportunity to call NPR for a
The network has made some progress since last fall's
meeting. At the time, the network had one African American vice president.
Today, there are three.
Since our meeting, NPR has hired an NABJ member - an
African American male. He is a national correspondent for NPR's digital platform.
An NPR spokesman says another black male hire is in the works, but it is too
soon to disclose details.
Should NPR get a passing grade for this progress
report? NABJ truly believes diversity is good for business, and we won't rest until
NPR's on-air and management reflects the diversity of America.
Kathy Y. Times
President, National Association of Black Journalists
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, with more than 4,100 members, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.