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NAACP President Blasts Papers On Minority Hiring
Editor and Publisher Online ^ | 10/23/2002 | Joe Strupp

Posted on 10/24/2002 9:05:13 AM PDT by GeneD

BALTIMORE -- Kweisi Mfume, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), accused newspapers of not doing enough to recruit and retain minorities and urged editors meeting here this week to "support opportunity" for minority journalists.

Mfume, a former Baltimore-area congressman, made his remarks during the annual Associated Press Managing Editors conference. He also urged editors not to think of the NAACP only for stories related to so-called "black issues."

"Often times, the NAACP is relegated to the civil rights reporter and coverage is generated by what happens in the black community," Mfume told a crowd of about 300 editors on Wednesday afternoon. "We are larger than that. We deal with issues such as national security, health care, education, and others."

But Mfume's main focus was on the lack of diversity in newspapers. Citing statistics from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Mfume pointed out that minorities make up only 12% of newsroom employees. Using his hometown as an example, Mfume said that although 30% of the Baltimore area is comprised of African Americans, just 14% of The Sun's newsroom staff is black.

Data recently reported by The Boston Globe, he said, showed that only nine of the top 100 dailies have minority representation equal to their circulation area's population, while half of all newspapers had no black reporters, editors, or photographers.

"It is clearly up to leaders such as yourselves to make a difference," Mfume told the crowd. "Some have grown tired of trying and some have grown tired of caring."

Claiming he is not advocating quotas, Mfume said editors should realize the need to have minorities in order to provide a more diverse news report. "A diverse news staff has a better chance of producing balanced editorials and stories," he reasoned. "Diversity speaks to credibility."

Editors in the audience had mixed reactions to Mfume's comments. "You can't argue with [Mfume's] numbers," said David Bailey, managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock.

Others said that editors shouldn't take all of the blame for the dearth of minority candidates. "We do our best to reach out," said Carl Redman, managing editor of The Advocate in Baton Rouge, La. "But it is difficult when you are a local newspaper competing against much bigger newspapers. I don't think minority hiring is strictly a newspaper issue."

Source: Editor & Publisher Online

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Joe Strupp (jstrupp@editorandpublisher.com) is associate editor for E&P.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: associatedpress; diversity; kweisimfume; naacp; newspapers; racialquotas
This is bound to have the following consequences:
1. More newspapers will run "The Boondocks";
2. News hacks will become even more hide-bound, self-centered and biased; and
3. Stories like the Russian hostage crisis will not get covered at all. Oh, I forgot, it's not getting covered anyway. Great job you guys are pulling, Howie Kurtz.
1 posted on 10/24/2002 9:05:14 AM PDT by GeneD
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To: GeneD
Citing statistics from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Mfume pointed out that minorities make up only 12% of newsroom employees. Using his hometown as an example, Mfume said that although 30% of the Baltimore area is comprised of African Americans, just 14% of The Sun's newsroom staff is black.

(My head smacks against my forehead!) You make up precisely 12% of the U.S. population, you moron! You are perfectly represented.

How does it make sense pick out one city with an above average black population and use that as the standard for how many blacks out to be in the industry?!

2 posted on 10/24/2002 9:10:50 AM PDT by winin2000
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To: GeneD; mhking
"A diverse news staff has a better chance of producing balanced editorials and stories," he reasoned. "Diversity speaks to credibility."

They never seem to include conservatives in their diversity speaches. Wonder why?

3 posted on 10/24/2002 9:14:54 AM PDT by farmfriend
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To: winin2000

(My head smacks against my forehead!)

Wow! That must hurt? And how do you do that anyway?

4 posted on 10/24/2002 9:18:47 AM PDT by BruceS
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To: GeneD
"We are larger than that. We deal with issues such as national security, health care, education, and others."

So do the Democrats. And we are seeing the results right now.

5 posted on 10/24/2002 9:19:06 AM PDT by NativeNewYorker
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To: farmfriend
They never seem to include conservatives in their diversity speaches. Wonder why?

In their minds, conservatives are evil, and conservative blacks in particular, are spawns of Satan with reserved spots in the seventh circle of Hell after we die.

6 posted on 10/24/2002 9:19:19 AM PDT by mhking
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To: farmfriend

They never seem to include conservatives in their diversity speaches. Wonder why?

My first thought on reading this, too. I assume this was a rhetorical question.

7 posted on 10/24/2002 9:19:44 AM PDT by BruceS
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

8 posted on 10/24/2002 9:19:57 AM PDT by mhking
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To: BruceS
Oops. "Hand," not "head."
9 posted on 10/24/2002 9:22:35 AM PDT by winin2000
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To: GeneD
Using his hometown as an example, Mfume said that although 30% of the Baltimore area is comprised of African Americans, just 14% of The Sun's newsroom staff is black.

Did he mention that the 30% probably make up close to 70% of the violent crimes? I bet he didn't.

10 posted on 10/24/2002 9:25:59 AM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: mhking
... and conservative blacks in particular, are spawns of Satan with reserved spots in the seventh circle of Hell after we die.

With any luck, one of these days Harry Belafonte will start calling you derogatory names also. You've found success without being a race-baiting lackey of the Democratic party and that's frightening to them.

11 posted on 10/24/2002 9:29:20 AM PDT by xJones
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To: GeneD
Something outrageously funny occured here at our Appleton Wisconsin newspaper.

They ran an editorial ripping corporations for not providing "real living wage jobs with benefits" in their editorial column. Meanwhile in their help wanted section, the newspaper itself hires people to work in the printing and distribution on a part time only basis, six days per week. No benefits, no healthcare, no nothing. It went un-noticed by most. My editorial letter pointing out their hypocracy was never answered, printed, or mentioned by the paper.

Mr.Mfume may want to direct his anger at an audience who really gives a rat's ass and forget the media.

12 posted on 10/24/2002 9:31:09 AM PDT by blackdog
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To: xJones
With any luck, one of these days Harry Belafonte will start calling you derogatory names also.

He won't be the first, and certainly won't be the last. Life goes on, and by the grace of God, the sun'll rise tomorrow...

13 posted on 10/24/2002 9:34:11 AM PDT by mhking
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
Of any given population sample of 30%, you would be hard pressed to find 14% as qualified applicants, especially in journalism, where a masters degree and actual skills are required for employment. That number would more likely run at about 1%. Mr.Mfume should stop using such silly statistics which only serve to prove the lack of substance in his argument.
14 posted on 10/24/2002 9:36:43 AM PDT by blackdog
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To: blackdog
I agree with what you are saying, though I think you may be giving too much credit to the skills required to be a "journalist".
15 posted on 10/24/2002 9:53:52 AM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: BruceS
I assume this was a rhetorical question.

Oh yes, my middle name should have been sarcasm. The last thing Mfume wants is more conservatives in the media; after all, there is no bias there.

16 posted on 10/24/2002 10:07:12 AM PDT by farmfriend
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
With the rate that Bush is letting illegal aliens across the border, 7500 a day, I wonder if those numbers are valid anymore.
17 posted on 10/24/2002 10:15:40 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: mhking
In their minds, conservatives are evil, and conservative blacks in particular, are spawns of Satan with reserved spots in the seventh circle of Hell after we die.

That's why I made the comparison to Rosa Parks. Black conservatives have the guts and fortitude to stand for what is right instead of just going with the crowd. A profit in his own land....

18 posted on 10/24/2002 10:18:00 AM PDT by farmfriend
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To: mhking
Good thing I'm not going for a journalist job.

Profit = prophet.

19 posted on 10/24/2002 10:21:04 AM PDT by farmfriend
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To: winin2000
How does it make sense pick out one city with an above average black population and use that as the standard for how many blacks out to be in the industry?!

Hey, as long as it can be used for fomenting racial hatred and division, what the heck.

Stop trying to be logical. Think like a race baiting poverty pimp.

"What ?! Not enough blacks in the Sun newsroom ? Obviously racism ! What ?! A greater percentage of blacks have sickle-cell anemia than whites? A clear case of the genocidal white man's oppression !"

See how easy it is? Don't think. Just spew.

20 posted on 10/24/2002 10:25:47 AM PDT by jimt
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To: jimt
"Editors in the audience had mixed reactions to Mfume's comments. "You can't argue with [Mfume's] numbers," said David Bailey, managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock."
Of course you can argue with his numbers you idjiit! That's precisely where the argument starts. As was pointed out, approximately 12% of the population are the "colored people" that Queasy represents. To have that percentage reflected in the nation's newsrooms would completely deflate Queasy's trial balloon of extortion.
Did anyone ask the Distinguished Gentleman what he proposes to turn the youth of his race to aspire to something more than being gangstas, rappers or athletic stars? What will the Distinguished Gentleman do to change his culture so that they all value education and learning how to write English rather than speak Ebonics?
21 posted on 10/24/2002 3:09:46 PM PDT by thegreatbeast
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