Monday, December 15, 2008

Black Journalists Hit Hard by Cuts

With major media outlets laying off reporters and editors at alarming rates, black journalists have been hit particularly hard as The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Star-Ledger, National Public Radio, BET and NBC News are among the companies to drastically reduce newsroom staff in an effort to stay afloat financially.

In 2008, an estimated 15,000 people have lost their jobs at newspapers, according to the tracking Web site Papercuts. And by 2010, media experts say, several cities may be without a daily newspaper. Almost every black journalist who is working knows a black journalist who isn't.

Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists and vice president for UNITY Journalists of Color, said black journalists – and journalists of color – offer readers and viewers a valuable perspective on news.

"When diversity dies in our nation’s newsrooms through layoffs and buyouts, it has a direct impact on the consumer of color,” Ciara told “People in charge of content who have different experiences and backgrounds produce a more well-balanced product."

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