EDITORIAL: Respect for Black Journalists

Trump aide Omarosa Manigault listens to a question from reporter Hazel Trice Edney. (Shevry Lassiter/The Washington Informer)

Journalists are having a hard time these days, particularly Black journalists. And, it doesn’t matter whether a Black journalist works for the Black Press, meaning a media outlet that is Black-owned and oriented, or what others call the “mainstream” media, meaning that which is white-owned and white-dominated … Black journalists are just having a tough time either way.

To make matters worse, the name Donald Trump says it all. His ongoing Twitter tirades in which he constantly labels news he dislikes as “fake news” is an insult to the years of training and the daily grind these media professionals perform tirelessly.

To add insult to injury, President Donald Trump appointed reality television personality Omarosa Manigault-Newman, as his director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison. This year alone, Omarosa, author of the book “Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn it On and Off” has completely turned off Black journalists after turning on her “B-side” and walking out on them at the national meetings of the nation’s two largest and respected Black journalism organizations — the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the National Association of Black Journalists.

There could be no more crucial time in America’s history than now when all Americans, not just Black Americans, need an educated, well-trained, able-bodied, professional and persistently assertive Black press corp. And these Black Press professionals have no greater desire than to use their craft to tell the news as they see it — factual, unbridled, thorough and real.

Black journalists also have the responsibility to report on how this nation is becoming unglued over many issues but especially due to race and racism. Their voices offer an important and often ignored interpretation and perspective about racism and its inconspicuous effect on people’s lives and communities where they live nationwide.

We see it as not too much to ask on behalf of Black journalists that they receive support from their readers, listeners and viewers. They need to know that despite the disrespect they are getting from Trump and his minions, and the increasing incidents of insults, physical assaults and threats on their lives they face daily that we will keep them in our prayers and that their work is not in
vain.

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