Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama Needs More Diversity on His Press Team

Roland S. Martin, CNN

A lot of media outlets made a big deal out of the mostly white White House press corps covering the first black president, and those stories were worth pursuing.

All of us in the business know full well that those are considered plum jobs and are steppingstones to greater things.
But while we hold the media accountable for the need to diversify their ranks, it’s quite telling to see the lack of diversity in the White House’s press office.

I got an e-mail Tuesday listing all of the various press folks and contact information, and hardly any African-Americans or Hispanics were listed. Granted, the deputy press secretary is African-American, and the director of broadcast media is Hispanic. But that’s not sufficient.

Unfortunately, this shouldn’t come as a shock because the campaign press staff of then-Sen. Barack Obama was just as weak on diversity.

Just because there is a black president doesn’t mean that diversity should be cast aside. President Obama should be held to the same standard when it comes to this issue as any other occupier of that office. I am a former national board member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and my support for diversity never wavers, no matter who is running the show.

One of the reasons this is important is ��” just like in the media, where there are bigger and better things awaiting White House correspondents ��” a position in the White House press office positions someone for the next level.

Click to read.

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