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News & Press: NABJ News

CNN Takes Another Step in the Right Direction, NABJ Continues Call for Civil Rights Audit

Monday, July 15, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kanya Stewart
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CNN Takes Another Step in the Right Direction 
NABJ’s Call for Civil Rights Audit of Hiring and Promotion Practices Continues
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 15, 2019) – CNN’s announcement of the promotion of Cathy Straight to executive editor of National News for CNN Digital, coupled with the recent promotions of Johnita Due as the new SVP and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Marcus Mabry to Vice President of Global Programming for CNN Digital Worldwide, is applauded by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). 

These promotions underscore NABJ’s insistence that a pool of talented black journalists and professionals is readily available including within CNN’s ranks. The promotions come after months of pressure from NABJ to diversify its executive news leadership ranks, although no plan to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts has been shared with NABJ as of today.

In a March 5, 2019 news release, NABJ reported:
 
•    CNN has no black news executive producers
•    CNN has no black news senior vice presidents
•    CNN has no black news vice presidents

NABJ continues to call upon CNN to elevate and hire black employees with critical and executive-level, daily news-decision making roles. We are approaching nearly 150 days since NABJ publicly called for change at CNN and requested meetings with its leadership and parent organizations. NABJ’s requests also included a civil rights audit of its hiring and promotion practices as well as answers to the following questions:

•    Why are there no black employees in executive or senior news management positions in CNN’s broadcasting operations?
•    What are CNN’s specific plans to correct the issues?
•    What is CNN’s timetable for correcting the issue?

While NABJ has yet to have its requests granted by CNN, the organization applauds the steps that have been taken to elevate more black employees into management roles. NABJ especially congratulates Cathy Straight for her accomplishments. See NABJ’s congratulatory message for Straight here.

However, the back-to-back promotions of black employees into leadership positions reveals that NABJ’s call for a civil rights audit of its HR practices in reference to black employees is valid and should take place immediately. 

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Media Contact:

Kanya Stewart | Director of Communications| kstewart@nabj.org


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