Wired UK recently rolled out a piece entitled “The Big Question: What is the future of online journalism?” I was not surprised, but I was disappointed to see that not one journalist of color was included in the discussion.
The points made by folks including Melissa Bell of Vox and Micah Cohen of FiveThirtyEight.com (two outlets with their own diversity issues) were interesting, along with the rest of the group. But did Wired UK really have that much trouble finding journalists of color in the digital space? I can come up with at least a dozen names off the top of my head. Folks Wired UK could have called for comment include:
- DeWayne Wickham, one of the original founders of the National Association of Black Journalists, USA Today columnist, a digital pioneer and dean of Morgan State University’s Global School of Journalism and Communications;
- Michelle Johnson, a professor at Boston University and a former editor at the Boston Globe who was in the forefront of the digital journalism revolution;
- Retha Hill, a pioneer at washingtonpost.com and BET.com, and executive director of the digital innovation and entrepreneurship lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University; and
- Carlos Watson, former digital journalist and anchor at MSNBC and CNN and founder of Ozy.com, an online news site whose investors include Laurene Powell Jobs and Google’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.
I could go on, but I think I made my point. And my good friends at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association would also be willing and able to give you names from their ranks. So next time, I urge you to cast a wider net of digital journalist sources in the name of true media diversity.
Benét J. Wilson is the vice president of education for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force. She also serves on the board of the Online News Association. She is the social media/eNewsletters editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.