More Black Journalists Quit Mainstream Outlets for Black-Oriented Media

Jim Romenesko, Poynter, May 25, 2011

Some of these moves are prompted by layoffs and buyouts, writes Pamela Newkirk, and some are about disillusionment with mainstream journalism or a desire to delve more deeply into African-American issues.

Washington Post senior editor and ASNE past president Milton Coleman said many African Americans come into journalism driven by a passion to illuminate issues in their communities. And that, he said, explains some of the movement to the black press. “People of a like mind saw they could take the skills that they had picked up in mainstream media and go back to ethnically oriented media and make them better.”

On the one hand, this reverse migration has brought new luster and talent to black-oriented media. On the other, it is further draining mainstream media of diverse perspectives, raising the specter of a retreat to the days of all-but-segregated newsrooms.

African Americans comprise 15 percent of the US population, but hold 4.68 percent of US newspaper newsroom jobs. The numbers “are devastating,” says National Association of Black Journalists president Kathy Times.

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  • Anonymous

    I think there are two other reasons for this as well: affirmative actioned blacks being unable to compete in mainstream media and black attitude. I think this happens a lot in professional positions (I know it happens in my field). An aff. actioned black gets promoted beyond his ability and all too often has an off-putting, arrogant, entitled attitude of “head black in charge”. His colleagues don’t like either his incompetence or his personality and get sick of dealing with him. In the media field he can at least then retreat to a blacks-only environment. Oh how I wish that were true in every field.

  • Question Diversity

    Another possible reason is that mainstream media outlets are suffering from declining advertiser accounts, while black media outlets are probably holding steady or doing better than they were in that department, because various mega-corporations have accounts with black media in order to suck up to Obama.

  • Seek

    I say go for it.

    The fewer blacks who enter or stay in mainstream journalism, the less mainstream editors and management will feel a need to pander to black communities and individuals, thus lowering standards. Most black newspapers have low distribution and readership anyway. They’re not an enticing career move. But, hey, if young black journalists are willing to receive low exposure and lower salaries to enhance their street cred, have at it.

  • Jim

    Or maybe they are tired of having to show results or being forced to show up on time. On the other hand perhaps they enjoy the environment of self-pity and paranoia the black media creates.

  • olewhitelady

    I once worked with a white liberal who complained that blacks hold TV anchor slots only during daytime and on the weekends. Of course, channels have to compete with one another, and, if having a black anchor isn’t good for business, PC will take a back seat. Maybe things are beginning to settle back to the normality of several decades ago, and we will see a gradual, voluntary return to segregation.

  • sbuffalonative

    some are about disillusionment with mainstream journalism or a desire to delve more deeply into African-American issues.

    It doesn’t matter where they go, they will be disappointed to discover that the world doesn’t revolve around them and the issues they believe are critical to black people.

  • Anonymous

    On the one hand, this reverse migration has brought new luster and talent to black-oriented media. On the other, it is further draining mainstream media of diverse perspectives, raising the specter of a retreat to the days of all-but-segregated newsrooms.

    —————————————————

    Good. Go. We don’t want nor need you on our news channels to begin with. Now if we can get rid of all the stupid lefties and some of those on Fox News and get a White only news stations that promotes nothing but White racial interests and our race, then maybe we can salvage a little of what is left of America.

  • Tyrone from South Africa

    Whoopee!!!

    Guys, you just have to work with blacks for a while to realise just what a millstone they are for a business.

    Ah! The sheer bliss of a white office enviroment. (Which, unfortunately you don’t appreciate until you have had the opposite.

    In my experience, they are loud (hell, that’s a given), won’t give a straight answer, and invariably incompetent. And WILL NOT admit to not knowing how to do something…so they mess it up, instead of asking for help.

    The people I admire the most, will always say if they are not sure about a procedure, etc. But a black? No ways.

  • Bandmo

    African Americans comprise 15 percent of the US population, but hold 4.68 percent of US newspaper newsroom jobs. The numbers “are devastating,” says National Association of Black Journalists president Kathy Times.

    I agree with Kathy on that “African Americans comprise 15 percent US population” is the devastating part.

  • The Bobster

    I once worked with a white liberal who complained that blacks hold TV anchor slots only during daytime and on the weekends. Of course, channels have to compete with one another, and, if having a black anchor isn’t good for business, PC will take a back seat.

    _________

    I don’t see it. Twenty-five years ago, blacks were in those less-desirable time slots because they had less seniority. Now it’s always a black male with a blonde female in prime time, even though it’s not good for business. PC trumps everything.

  • Random White Guy

    Blacks have to be the most egotistical, self centered people-all they seem interested in themselves, their own issues, etc.

    They are like the child that discovers themselves in a mirror, however the child moves on with life. The Blacks never seem to do that

  • Antidote

    Great! Are you listening Cynthia Tucker? I’ll help you pack.

  • crusader88

    Good for them. If all the blacks and other non-whites seceded from multicultural endeavors, the elites couldn’t force them on us through diversity policies.

  • AWG (AVERAGE WHITE GUY)

    “African Americans comprise 15 percent of the US population . . . says National Association of Black Journalists president Kathy Times.”

    One of the reasons blacks fail in media is their abject laziness, inattention to detail and concocting “facts” rather than doing simple research.

    The American black population is 12.9%, not 15 percent.

  • Anonymous

    Out here in NYC they put a black main anchor on 1010 AM. This was about a year or so ago. This is a popular all news station so the announcer gets a lot of talk time. I remember that jarring feeling the first time I tuned in and heard his dark, deep african voice announcing the news. It seemed so out of place, so incongruent, so outside the reality of what I considered to be the real world. I turned the station to 880 AM, the other news channel.

    I checked in periodically for about a month and he was still there on 1010, and every time I would go to the other station. A few days after that month, voila! he was gone! And there has not been another black voice on 1010 WINS since then. Not even for the weather or trafiic – nada!

    I guess NY liberals believe in money more than diversity.

  • Preston Wiginton

    Good. I am tired of waking up to Al. I also hope the trend of a white woman anchor and a black man anchor ceases.

  • diversity=adversity

    Once upon a time, blacks wanted to be “judged” by the “content of their character” IOW, as individuals and they did not want their dark colour to be held against them when trying to assimilate. This they were given. But somehow policy has changed from “colour blindness” to “colour corrected” as now 15% of any group has to be black. This is not what “equal representation” is supposed to mean. I guess the author bemoaning the lack of blacks; as if that non-presence is in and of itself “raci$$”; just did not care to mention all the areas of american society where blacks are over-represented and whites are in minority numbers.

    I am considering amateur journalism. I can do marketing.

  • Anonymous

    I doubt that the blacks are quitting their jobs. Employers are taking advantage of bad economic times to reduce staff. They will hire asians and hispanics to replace the blacks.

  • Anonymous

    “They are like the child that discovers themselves in a mirror, however the child moves on with life. The Blacks never seem to do that”

    I am a psychologist. Almost every black I have dealt with as a patient or family member of a patient is stuck at about 18 months old. Me me me all the way. They are totally unaware that there are other people in the world with needs.

    That is why incest is almost universal in black families. They feel a need and jump on the nearest female, whether 9 months, 9 years or 90 years. It is identical to the need to find the nearest toilet or bush to urinate after drinking too much beer or ice tea.