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News & Press: NABJ News

Congressional Black Caucus Joins NABJ’s Call for Change at CNN

Tuesday, March 19, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kanya Stewart
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 19, 2019) – The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has joined the National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) call for more diversity in executive news leadership at CNN.


“The CBC stands firmly with NABJ and asks that CNN implement policies that allow African Americans to obtain equal representation within the newsroom,” said Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.) in a statement . “A newsroom that looks as diverse as America has the ability to raise awareness about issues impacting black and brown communities across the nation.”


The CBC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy, research and educational institute that seeks to advance the global black community.


CNN refused to meet with NABJ’s four-person delegation in January. NABJ brought preliminary research to CNN’s attention that revealed the company lacked black representation in the critical area of executive news leadership. NABJ placed CNN on a special media monitoring list in March and asked parent company AT&T to conduct a civil rights audit of CNN.


Since NABJ’s announcement of preliminary findings that CNN has no black executives within its news division (from Senior Vice Presidents to Executive Producers), national organizations representing millions of voices of color, including the NAACP, NNPA, Color of Change and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., have joined NABJ’s call for more diversity at CNN. The Color of Change also has launched a petition around the issue.


NABJ has already met and continues to meet with other broadcast media companies – FOX, CBS, NBC and ABC – about their diversity efforts. Those meetings have been positive, productive and collaborative. CNN, thus far, is the only major network, that has not met in an official capacity with NABJ’s delegation.


“CNN’s lack of black representation among its leadership positions is truly troubling and must be addressed. It is through diversity at all levels of any company that we are truly able to thrive and our media must be committed to the core American values of inclusiveness and diversity,” added Chairwoman Bass in CBC’s statement released yesterday.


Zucker's team has explained to NABJ that his refusal to meet with NABJ’s four-person delegation is due to personal reasons with a member of the Board. NABJ maintains that this reasoning is a distraction. NABJ’s meetings are focused solely on diversity and not individuals.


This isn’t the first time CNN has disregarded NABJ. CNN pulled its 2015 NABJ Convention sponsorship due to a disagreement with NABJ leadership at that time.


NABJ continues to build upon its 44-year legacy of advocacy work to ensure fair representation for black journalists and communities across the nation.


-Read NABJ’s March 8 statement here .

-Read NABJ’s March 7 statement here .

-Read NABJ’s March 5 statement here.


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About NABJ 

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is an organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals that provides quality programs and services to and advocates on behalf of black journalists worldwide. Founded by 44 men and women on December 12, 1975, in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation.


Media Contact

Kanya Stewart

Director of Communications, NABJ

press@nabj.org


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