Roland Martin, vice president of digital for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and host of “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” joined Bold TV to discuss NABJ’s investigation into the lack of diversity at CNN.
“It’s really about looking at these companies and not just on air but also off air, the executive ranks,” said Martin. “And so as we began to ask these questions and look at the data we said, ‘Wait a minute. How in the world is it that you have CNN that has literally no black executive producers [and no black executives] and Jeff Zucker, the president, has no black direct reports?’ And that’s a total change than when he arrived six years ago.”
“We met last year with CBS, we met with NBC, we had a meeting with Fox News as well. In fact the new leadership of CBS, Susan Zirinsky, she started as president last Friday — we met with her on her first day. We’ll be meeting with ABC next and so this is something that it’s not one company we’ve only been focusing on.”
Zucker responded to these accusations in an interview with Vanity Fair at South by Southwest, saying “We need to continue to improve” especially “among African-Americans in the most senior editorial positions at CNN U.S. TV.” CNN has refused to meet with the organization if Martin is present. They claim that Martin was involved with a question that was leaked to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic Primary debates. Both Martin and the woman who leaked the question, Donna Brazile, deny that he had any part in the matter. Martin told Bold TV that he believes this is a “deflection” by CNN.
“It’s no personal feelings for us, it’s business. The issue for us is very simple. We will remain steadfast at exactly how we’re going to approach these issues and we will never back down.”
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Photo Credit: Roland Martin & Flikr