Black Journalists Group Calls for 'Civil Rights Audit' of CNN Over Lack of Black Executives

Michael W. Chapman | March 6, 2019 | 12:07pm EST
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( -- On March 5, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) -- "the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation" -- noted the absence of any black top executives on the news side at cable news giant CNN and placed the outlet on a "special media monitoring list." The NABJ also called for a "civil rights audit" of CNN that "examines the company’s hiring, promotion and compensation practices involving black employees."

"The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is concerned about the lack of black representation within the ranks of CNN’s executive news managers and direct reports to CNN President Jeff Zucker," said the group in a press release.  "This concern, coupled with Zucker’s refusal to meet with a four-person NABJ delegation, has prompted NABJ to place CNN on a special media monitoring list."

CNN President Jeff Zucker. (YouTube)

"A special team will perform further research and an analysis of CNN’s diversity, inclusion and equity practices," said the NABJ. "The special team will also publicly report on identified deficiencies in hiring a diverse workforce in news decision-making capacities at CNN."

The "NABJ is also calling for a civil rights audit that examines the company’s hiring, promotion and compensation practices involving black employees," said the organization, which was founded in 1975 and has 3,682 members nationwide

The NABJ revealed that its research had uncovered the following about CNN, 

▪ CNN President Jeff Zucker has no black direct reports.
▪ There are no black Executive Producers at CNN.
▪ There are no black Vice Presidents on the news side at CNN. 
▪ There are no black Senior Vice Presidents on the news side at CNN.

CNN allegedly contacted the NABJ stating that the claim about no black vice presidents on the news side was inaccurate. However, when asked to reveal the name or names of a black vice president on the news side, CNN did not respond. 

The NABJ noted that other media outlets have responded positively to the group's inquiries and agreed to meet. These news outlets include Fox News Channel, CBS, NBC, and ABC. 


CNN President Jeff Zucker has, so far, declined to meet with the NABJ.

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., a black conservative and president of America's Sheriff LLC, said in a tweet, "How cool is THIS? @CNN called out for lack of diversity. I guess @donlemon(HEAD) who @realDonaldTrump rightfully called the dumbest man on TV and @VanJones68 are nothing more than tokens according to the Black Journalist group. How does it FEEL CNN?"

CNN's Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter. (YouTube)

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