Posted on May 20, 2021

Chicago’s Mayor Refuses to Give Interviews to White Reporters

Mark Lungariello, New York Post, May 19, 2021

Chicago’s mayor declared that she would only grant one-on-one interviews to minority journalists to protest the lack of diversity in the Windy City press corps.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the first black woman and openly gay person elected to run that city, confirmed the move Tuesday after members of the local press took to Twitter saying they had been denied interviews based on their skin color.

“By now, you may have heard the news that on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of my inauguration as Mayor of this great City, I will be exclusively providing one-on-one interviews with journalists of color,” Lightfoot said in a letter to local media provided The Post.


A Lightfoot spokesperson later clarified that the protest only pertains to interviews about her anniversary in office.


Lightfoot challenged local media to hire more people of color and women of color to their staffs.

“I have been struck since my first day on the campaign trail back in 2018 by the overwhelming whiteness and maleness of Chicago media outlets, editorial boards, the political press corps, and yes, the City Hall press corps specifically,” she said.


The mayor bashed local outlets for only having a “handful” of people of color who cover her administration. The group of reporters covering City Hall is “practically all white” and there’s not one woman of color among them, she said.


“And the truth is, it is too heavy a burden to bear, on top of all the other massive challenges our city faces in this moment, to also have to take on the labor of educating white, mostly male members of the news media about the perils and complexities of implicit bias,” she said in the letter.

“This isn’t my job. It shouldn’t be. I don’t have time for it.”

The practice has riled local journalists and led to one Latino reporter with The Chicago Tribune canceling a scheduled interview. {snip}