NAACP: Networks Need African-American Anchors

NAACP: Networks Need African-American Anchors

The NAACP wants the nation’s leading television news networks to think about hiring more African-American news anchors.

Published July 8, 2011

In what some might label a quixotic effort, NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous wants the nation’s leading television news networks to think about hiring more African-American news anchors.

 

To that end, he says the the nation’s oldest civil rights organization plans to meet with television news honchos.

 

The irony is that an increasing percentage of Americans, and particularly younger people, don’t get their news from television. They go online for it, where the editors and writers are unseen.

 

There is still, of course, a sizable TV news audience, and Black anchors would provide inspiration and authoritative voices for all to see, in an overwhelmingly white industry.

 

Viewers of a certain age probably remember that the first superstar cable network news anchor, Bernard Shaw of CNN, was African-American. He retired in 2000.

 

Jealous commends the positions held by African-American weekend anchors, such as TJ Holmes, Don Lemon, Russ Mitchell and Lester Holt on CNN, CBS and NBC. But Jealous also says that “we encourage all networks to acknowledge the talent that exists and to increase the diversity among their primetime anchors and hosts."

 

But did he note that there aren’t any Black women weekend anchors on his list, and wonder who is boosting their chances to take the top news anchor seat, or even one on the weekend?

 

(Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty)

Written by Frank McCoy

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