Answering Politico’s Diversity Problem

Answering Politico’s Diversity Problem

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Editor’s Note: Please read the snippet of commentary by my colleague, Markus Robinson. It absolutely conveys the reason why and how Politic365.com exists, and it explains the necessity of our presence in new media.  I’m proud to be a part of this wonderful endeavor. ~ Robin (Caldwell)

I’m not sure if you all caught CNN’s video coverage of the “top editors and reporters” meeting at Politico.com, one of the top and most influential DC publications, but if you haven’t I’ve included the footage at the bottom of this post. If you don’t mind take a gander and tell me what’s wrong with that footage….I’ll wait. A tweet by CNN contributor Roland Martin said it best, NOT ONE MINORITY in the room. Roland later followed up with a tweet saying, “I see one woman. But she didn’t say a word! Was she window dressing?”  The Politico footage has stirred up controversy on the National Association of Black Journalists e-mail list, and has caused Politico’s co-founder and editor-in-chief John F. Harris, to go on the defensive. A statement released by Harris, says that the camera shots might have been misleading and that Politico is, in fact, committed to diversity.

Harris, in an email to Journal-isms, also stated:

“We are making strides that are gratifying to me, even as I have always considered this a long-term project,” he said. “We have racial diversity in most of the most important positions in our newsroom — on the White House team, on our photo team, on the copy and production desks, and on our congressional team.”

“When we can, we’ll make progress by hiring well-known journalists with established reputations in the profession. Since this path alone is not enough, we are also putting emphasis on our own internal development of young journalists.”

Is anyone else perplexed by this half-ass excuse that doesn’t really address the real problem? I’m not sure about you, but I’m not as interested in the minorities serving on what Harris deems as the most important positions including the White House team, the photo team, and the copy and production desks. No disrespect to those positions, but what I would like to see is minorities at that top editors meeting, helping to steer the sites conversations, and making the decisions on the coverage of the most important political news of the day. … (Read the rest at BlackWeb20.com)

Posted to mediaite by Mediaite TV on March 22, 2010

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