The ad sparked a wave of criticism, more or less ferocious. Democratic Chicago Mayor Laurie Lightfoot has stirred controversy by selecting only minority journalists to interview in person on the second anniversary of her inauguration.
The 58-year-old former lawyer, in a letter sent to journalists from the local press and reported by several US media, made it clear that she wanted to. ‘Cut with the status quo’. “Since the first day of my campaign in 2018, I have been amazed by the dominant proportion of whites and white men in the Chicago media, editorial directors, political journalists and those who cover City Hall in particular.”City councilor wrote.
“It’s a shame that in 2021, the journalists accredited to the city council are overwhelmingly white in a city with more than half of its population black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.”, She tweeted. Non-white minorities make up 66% of Chicago’s population.
I ran to untangle the status quo that was failing so often. This is not just in City Hall.
It’s a shame that in 2021, City Hall’s press staff were overwhelmingly white in a city where more than half of the city is known to be black, Latino, AAPI, or Native American.
Mayor Laurie Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) May 19, 2021
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) hailed ‘Sense’ from Laurie Lightfoot “To the lack of diversity among those who cover local communities.”But she indicated that she could not “Do not support this tactic.”And the “Because of our commitment to diversity in general, equality and inclusiveness”.
According to figures published by the Journal of the Columbia College of Journalism, fewer than 17% of journalists were from minorities in the United States in 2018, while 40% of the American population did not identify themselves as white.
Hispanic journalist Gregory Pratt covers the mayor of the Chicago Tribune and was one of the reporters kept by Laurie Lightfoot. He announced on Twitter that he had conditioned this interview by raising the standards imposed by the mayor. Lowry Lightfoot’s government refused, and the reporter declined to interview. “Politicians do not choose who to cover.”, He tweeted.
“More than anything, it looks like a communication process for an elected official in a difficult situation, which puts, in addition to journalists of color, in a strange situation.” Astide Herndon, the newspaper’s political correspondent, tweeted The New York Times. But let’s be clear, He continued. Many politicians only interview white journalists. But they don’t say it publicly. “
“We’re not going there to play Lightfoot rope jumping.”Morgan Elise Johnson, co-founder of the news website The Triibe, which covers African American news in Chicago, tweeted. “The suggestion that journalists of color won’t ask him important questions really bother me. “