OLD Media Moves

Journalists of color covering the financial crisis

October 24, 2008

Richard Prince of the Maynard Institute writes Friday about minority business journalists who are covering the current financial crisis, leading with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Tannette Johnson-Elie.

Prince writes, “‘Business is usually the last frontier for African-Americans and journalists of color,’ Johnson-Elie told Journal-isms. ‘We typically want to be on the front page and that often means working on the metro desk. Those of us that write opinion, we are primarily concentrated in the Editorial departments of newspapers.

“‘Look at me, I’m the only columnist in business among the Trotter Group’ of African American columnists, ‘and other than Michelle Singletary,’ who writes a syndicated personal finance column for the Washington Post, ‘you’re not going to find many black women penning columns in the business section of a major daily paper.

“‘It’s probably not even possible for there to be a large number of journalists of color reporting on the economic crisis, because our numbers tend to be few in business news.’

“That there are ‘few’ in the mainstream media doesn’t mean ‘none.’ And some business journalists of color are indeed visible and high-ranking. But when the meltdown of the financial markets exploded this month, leading to a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, the journalists of color were generally not the ones out front.”

Read more here.Â

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