Congressional Black Caucus to support NABJ’s campaign for diversity

As CNN President, Jeff Zucker refuses to meet with the organization, CBC steps in to add muscle to the efforts

Karen Bass
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 13: Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) speaks at a special screening of ‘Instant Family’ at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum on November 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

NABJ announced on Tuesday that the Congressional Black Caucus has joined the organization in requesting more “diversity in executive news leadership at CNN.”

Earlier this month, the journalism organization posted a news release placing the news outlet on a “special media monitoring list” for their lack of inclusion and equity practices.

Read More: NABJ challenges CNN’s commitment to diversity in their corporate offices

NABJ is concerned that there is not enough Black representation of employees holding executive roles at CNN. They also requested a civil rights audit to receive more information about the company’s hiring, promotion and compensation process with Black employees.

“The CBC stands firmly with NABJ and asks that CNN implement policies that allow African Americans to obtain equal representation within the newsroom,” said Karen Bass, chairwoman of the institute said in a statement on NABJ’s website. “A newsroom that looks as diverse as America has the ability to raise awareness about issues impacting black and brown communities across the nation.”

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NABJ revealed that CNN refuses to meet with NABJ’s four-person delegation in January to discuss matters because CNN President, Jeff Zucker refused to do so “based on a personal issue between CNN and NABJ’s Vice President-Digital Roland Martin.”

The statement released by CNN said, “Previously, former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile admitted, according to a essay, she inadvertently disclosed a town hall topic to the Clinton campaign that was part of Martin’s research inquiry for the town hall.”

National organizations that represent people of color such as the NAACP, NNPA, Color of Change and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., have also joined NABJ’s request for more diversity, representation and inclusion at CNN.

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NABJ has and is continuing to meet with other news outlets such as  FOX, CBS, NBC and ABC about their diversity and inclusion endeavors. NABJ says all of the organizations except CNN has met in “official capacity” with the delegation. They also note that their meetings with the outlets were “positive.”

“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 Bass in the CBC’s statement.