The National Association of Black Journalists, Congressional Black Caucus, Color of Change, the National Newspaper Publishers of America, and the NAACP is calling out CNN and it’s president, Jeff Zucker, for the lack of Black leadership within the company. According to a statement released by NABJ, CNN president Jeff Zucker has no Black direct reports, no Black executive producers, and no Black senior vice presidents in the news department.
Based on information provided, NABJ has tried to meet with Zucker to discuss hiring practices at the cable news network but has been met with pushback each time.
“Your lack of Black managers, and refusal to meet with the National Association of Black Journalists, suggest negligence towards the diversity, inclusion, and equity practices at your company,” a Color of Change petition reads.
The network’s dismissal has also prompted NABJ to place CNN on a special media monitoring list. The long-standing organization that advocates on behalf of Black professionals in media believe their actions demonstrate exactly how they feel about Black voices, despite their efforts to include more diverse talent in front of the camera.
“Black leadership behind-the-scenes is invaluable and essential to ensure fair and balanced news reporting. While CNN has improved their on-air representation, they clearly do not trust Black people to make key decisions in the company,” the statement reads.
For the cohort of African-American focused organizations, there is a strong desire to have CNN and Zucker address the gap, with NABJ “calling for CNN to perform a civil rights audit to identify deficiencies in the company’s hiring practices.”