The NAACP is not happy about the current state of television, especially CNN. The organization recently blasted the news network for its lack of diversity.
The NAACP condemned the 24-hour cable news channel for its recently announced prime time news lineup. According to the NAACP, CNN’s lack of diversity in its collection of news anchors is a “glaring omission”. The NAACP says it is concerned about the lack of African- American journalists in prime time news, both on cable and national news shows. The new CNN news lineup features John King, Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett and Piers Morgan. The lineup includes not one journalist of color.
The NAACP isn’t merely complaining. They are taking action. The NAACP’s Hollywood Bureau also announced its plans to meet with cable news presidents to address the issue. “We are in the process of setting up a meeting,” explains NAACP Director of Communications Chris Fleming.
According to NAACP Hollywood Bureau Executive Director Vic Bulluck, the lack of diversity isn’t only at CNN but news divisions at all the major media outlets. In fact, Fleming says the organization was not surprised at all when they took a look at the variety of news anchors, and noticed the lack of minorities.
And the NAACP isn’t the only organization dismayed at the lack of diversity in the news divisions at TV networks. The president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Kathy Times recently sent a letter to the news executives at the network on the lack of diversity in news. In the letter she writes: “People of color comprise more than a third of the U.S. population. The 2010 Census shows the minority population is growing from coast to coast, and the majority of children in the U.S. will be minorities by 2050. So, there’s a strong case to be made that news media is running in the wrong direction of its audience. The ‘Big 3’ networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) and cable news channels have undergone a series of rare changes behind the desk. While the replacements are all seasoned journalists, what is glaringly missing in the flurry of changes is the failure to elevate African-Americans to any of these positions…As America inches toward a world that is more black and brown, corporations are adjusting their cultures to embrace diversity because they know it makes good business sense. But too many network executives are ignoring this reality.”
The NAACP, however is not calling for a viewer boycott. The NAACP is seeking a resolution. Says Fleming, change can occur. “(We must) lobby for more inclusion by bringing the issue to the attention of senior management and the viewing audience,” says Fleming.