By Ed Diokno
Is MSNBC the latest poster child for #JournalismSoWhite? Rep. Luis Gutierrez thinks so.
The congressman also mentioned Alex Wagner, one of the very few Asian American journalists who hosts a news program on one of the national networks. She lost her weekday show on MSNBC last summer and subsequently was supposed to be in line to host another show this spring. However, last week MSNBC announced that that proposed programming had been cancelled as it shifts its efforts to covering the political campaigns.
Also, veteran Cuban American newsman Jose Diaz-Balart has seen his daily show frequently bumped in favor of election coverage and is reportedly excluded from the networks coverage of the Florida primary, even though he and his show are based in Florida.
The cutback of prominent journalists of color at MSNBC comes at a time when the news industry, broadcast and print, is being questioned about their lack of diversity in their newsrooms and studios.
Filipino American journalist Jose Antonio Vargas launched the #journalismsowhite hashtag on Twitter which trended nationally and has sparked lots of conversation about the power of diversity in the media. He is trying to fund an effort that would cover the issues that concern communities of color.
“This is not about quotas, window dressing or checking the diversity file,” said Guiterrez. “Journalists of color bring a different texture, a different perspective on what issues matter and what should be discussed and debated on television.”
“The reality is that our nation has become more diverse,” Gutierrez stated, “and our television and our news media and our political institutions — including the Democratic and Republican parties — have not kept up.”
(Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.)
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