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News & Press: NABJ News

Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists Statement on Racial Slur Used by TV Reporter

Sunday, January 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jovan Riley
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Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists Statement on Racial Slur Used by TV Reporter

St. Louis (Jan. 20, 2019) -- It is with great concern that the Greater StLouis Association of Black Journalists (GSLABJ) responds to the controversy surrounding the perceived use of a racial slur by a KTVI television reporter in StLouis during a morning newscast Thursday, January 17th.  We have been able to listen to the audio and watch the video of Kevin Steincross reading a story about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in which he garbles the name, “King” to sound like the hurtful slur, "coon."  Steincross apologized on the air hours after a viewer alerted him to his verbal slip. We have several concerns and questions about how this has been handled. We were able to immediately take those questions and concerns to the reporter's management team. We had a lengthy discussion and plan to have additional meetings to move toward clarity and wisdom. 

We do not believe the utterance was malicious. However, the GSLABJ Executive Board encourages station leadership to NOT dismiss the anxiety and frustration being expressed by viewers and employees simply because Mr. Steincross is, as has been described to us, a ''good guy who cares about everyone.” We do believe the negative reaction to this by viewers and coworkers must be taken seriously and handled both with compassion and understanding as well as a bold and honest review of the corporate culture at the station. 

We are encouraged that additional meetings and bridge building are being welcomed by his station leadership. This difficult and yes, painful moment must be used to deepen our understanding and awareness of how we treat one another and especially how we react to one another's pain whether intentionally caused or not.

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