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CBS News slammed over lack of black election journalists

INCLUSION: Congresswoman Maxine Waters spoke with CBS News about its failure to assign any black journalists to 2020 election coverage

THE NAACP has criticised CBS News for not appointing any black journalists to cover the next United States election.

The lack of black reporters assigned to the particular news coverage was revealed on Twitter.

Ben Mitchell, an associate producer at CBS news, shared an image of journalists selected by the broadcaster to cover the 2020 election with the caption: “It’s official: The CBS News 2020 election team has assembled!”

In a statement, the NAACP said: “CBS News’ decision to not include black reporters on their 2020 Election news team further proves the voting power and voices of black America continue to be undervalued.

“As the voting bloc which will most certainly heavily determine the direction of this country in the upcoming election, it is vital any and all media outlets have a diverse newsroom, including individuals of color [sic] in decision making positions to speak to and address the issues and concerns directly impacting the black community.”

Political commentator Symone D Sanders acknowledged CBS News’ inclusion of people of colour [POC] among the 12 reporters but pointed out that it did not excuse the lack of black staff in the group.

NO REPRESENTATION: Not a single black journalist was included in CBS News' 2020 election team

Sanders tweeted: “Someone at CBS News needs to explain why there aren’t any reporters who are also black on the 2020 beat? Were they not ‘qualified?’ Did you not notice/did you not care? [I don’t know] how in 2019 newsrooms are doing this. You can’t exclude POC and you can’t substitute some POC for others.

“It is literally not too much to ask that reporters who are also black are on this beat. In a primary where black voters will play a key role, representation matters and damnit I know there are great reporters who are also black at CBS. This is exhausting.”

Recently elected congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has been targeted by right-wing commentators and criticised by those within her own party, shared her thoughts on the news and outlined why it was necessary for black journalists to have a presence.

“This WH admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have, yet CBS News hasn’t assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election.

Unacceptable in 2019. Try again.”

Some stars even joined the discussion.

Scandal star Kerry Washington tweeted: “Dear CBS News, I am encouraged by the diversity you did include. But when it comes time to discuss the inevitable role that race and racism will play in the election, who will you turn to for a perspective with nuanced and personal understanding of the African American experience?”

Since the online outrage at the reporting lineup, the broadcaster has reportedly committed to a more inclusive 2020 election team.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who was among those who expressed her dissatisfaction with CBS News, said she had met with representatives from organisation who admitted they had work to do.

She said: “CBS admitted they had a lot of work to do and committed to including blacks on their 2020 election team and all other teams.

“True diversity is the inclusion of all. I won't let them off the hook!”

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