CBS 2020 Black journalists jesse kelly

@bfmitchell/Twitter

Black journalists school conservative writer over CBS 2020 election team

It made for some very bad takes.

Jan 14, 2019, 10:48 am*

Tech

 

Ellen Ioanes

CBS came under fire this weekend after it announced its 2020 coverage lineup—with no Black reporters or producers in sight.

CBS associate producer Ben Mitchell first tweeted the lineup on Friday, saying, It’s Official: The @CBSNews 2020 Election Team has assembled!”

Twitter users were quick to notice that the team didn’t include any Black journalists.

https://twitter.com/rgay/status/1084276819770073088

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) got involved, tweeting, “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.”

Meanwhile, conservative radio host and writer Jesse Kelly critiqued the backlash to CBS’ 2020 lineup.

“People are dragging CBS for not having enough black people, but has anyone considered the obvious explanation that many black people have no interest in journalism? Cultures are different and value different things. Doesn’t make CBS the KKK.”

https://twitter.com/JesseKellyDC/status/1084525238313017344

https://twitter.com/JesseKellyDC/status/1084525549274439680

https://twitter.com/JesseKellyDC/status/1084525990506885121

https://twitter.com/JesseKellyDC/status/1084526329654099971

Kelly then cited statistics about the demographics of journalism majors, without citing his source or providing context, like the fact that journalism programs, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, can be incredibly expensive, and journalism doesn’t pay particularly well.

https://twitter.com/JesseKellyDC/status/1084813023020240899

Black journalists weren’t having it.

https://twitter.com/SirWruthless/status/1084836140270534659

https://twitter.com/ChazLondonB/status/1084841838928891904

https://twitter.com/chalibay/status/1084840846216683520

Journalist Imani Gandy weighed in with a pointed takedown.

https://twitter.com/AngryBlackLady/status/1084830191447355393

https://twitter.com/AngryBlackLady/status/1084833297824473088

The Columbia Journalism Review has explored the issue of diversity in newsrooms. It’s a documented problem, and it’s historically led to poor coverage of, or complete ignorance about, issues like lynching, the Civil Rights movement, and voter suppression.

Share this article
*First Published: Jan 14, 2019, 10:45 am