Tim Pearce, DCNF
The civil rights group NAACP and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) are adding to criticism of CBS News for not including a black journalist on its initial 2020 politics reporting team.
Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York drew attention to the supposed slight at the black community on Twitter Saturday after Ben Mitchell, an associate producer for CBS News, shared the outlet’s team for 2020 political coverage.
This WH admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have, yet @CBSNews hasn’t assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election.
Unacceptable in 2019. Try again. https://t.co/h7tmiBr9Fi
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 13, 2019
“CBS News’ decision to not include Black reporters on their 2020 Election news team further proves the voting power and voices of Black America continue to be undervalued,” the NAACP said in a statement. “As the voting bloc that will most certainly determine the direction of this country in the upcoming election, it is vital any and all media outlets have a diverse newsroom, including individuals of color in decision making positions to speak to and address the issues and concerns directly impacting the Black community.”
“It is unfortunate that we are still having these discussions about diversity and inclusion,” NABJ President Sarah Glover said in a statement. “In 2019 we’re still asking media organizations specifically, and society as a whole to do the right thing. CBS’s political team takes previously heralded steps back half a century.”
CBS has responded to the perceived scandal by promising to add more people to the team. The current group of a dozen reporters and editors is “an initial wave of what will be an outstanding and diverse group of journalists assigned to cover the 2020 election for CBS News,” CBS said in a statement, according to the NABJ.
CBS officials met with Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California over the issue. Waters said the media company has promised to place black reporters on its 2020 politics team, Newsweek reports.