NABJ Releases Issues Thumbs Down Award to TIME Magazine
Friday, June 22, 2012
Posted by: Aprill Turner
NEW ORLEANS, La. (June 22, 2012) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) today issued its 2012 Thumbs Down Award to TIME Magazine for its lack of diversity within its reporting corps. The Thumbs Down Award is given annually for reporting, commentary or other content found to be racially insensitive, or for practices at odds with the mission of NABJ. The award was announced during NABJ’s 37th Annual Convention & Career Fair in New Orleans.
"TIME Magazine once boasted a number of black correspondents, including Wallace Terry, Jack White, Janice Simpson, Sylvester Monroe. However the publication currently does not have a full-time black correspondent,” said NABJ President Gregory Lee. "Additionally, the magazine has eliminated blacks from major news coverage, including a special commemorative issue on the 10th anniversary of the Sept.11, 2011, terrorist attacks that depicted no African Americans. Also, the magazine recently lost its only black correspondent. We feel that TIME Magazine can do more to champion diversity, this is why we are bringing attention to TIME Magazine.”
The award aims to call attention to an individual or organization for especially insensitive, racist or stereotypical reporting, commentary, photography or a cartoon at odds with the goals of NABJ. Past recipients include columnist Armstrong Williams, former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair, and most recently, cable news networks.
"Doing smart journalism that helps drive the national conversation is something to which black journalists also aspire, and having that opportunity at places like TIME is the dream of plenty of journalists,” said NABJ Vice President of Print Errin Haines. "But the absence of black journalists at places like TIME sends a message that we are not valued for what we could bring to such venerable and influential legacy publications, and gives little hope to those black journalists who would hope to one day see their names on the masthead.”
NABJ also announced a Best Practices Award to TV One’s Find Our Missing television show. This series counters the media's tendency to focus on white women and children in peril, telling the stories of missing black people in a docudrama format. The show also features a website with links to organizations aimed at finding missing people of color, Twitter and Facebook links and a method for readers to submit tips for solving the cases highlighted.
National Association of Black JournalistsAn advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C. NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, NABJ provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.