NABJ Slams CBS for Lack of Black Journalists on 2020 Campaign Team

os Angeles, California, USA, AUGUST, 20, 2018: CBS logo on a building in Los Angeles, California. (Credit: Deposit Photos)

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) called out CBS News Tuesday for failing to add any African-American journalists to its 2020 presidential election team.

The journalism organization said it was “very disappointed” by the network’s talent roster, after CBS associate producer Ben Mitchell tweeted an image Saturday with headshots of the network’s 12 reporters and producers, including himself.

NABJ President Sarah Glover replied to Mitchell’s tweet by asking: “Will you be adding additional team members?”

On Tuesday, NABJ posted a statement on its website taking CBS to task.

“The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is very disappointed in and disturbed about CBS News’ recent announcement showcasing new hires for coverage of the 2020 Presidential election. The uproar began following a producer’s tweet that included a graphic with 12 staffers, of which none are African American or black,” the statement said.

“It is unfortunate that we are still having these discussions about diversity and inclusion,” added Glover. “Ironically last year the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission Report was a major topic and now in 2019 we’re still asking media organizations specifically, and society as a whole to do the right thing. CBS’s political team takes previously heralded steps back half a century.”

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In an announcement last week introducing its new political team, CBS said it was gearing up to become the “destination” for election news.

“This is the first step in positioning CBS News as a prime political destination for the 2020 election,” the network said. “Our stellar team of political embeds and associate producers is second to none and will be at every event — in every state– giving our viewers an up-close look at the campaign trail along the way to the White House.”

It seems NABJ might disagree with the network’s “second to none” claims.