The Fresh, New and Very White World of Startup Journalism

New journalism looks a lot like old journalism, with white men hiring white men and diversity on the back burner.


Second: The current debate assumes these cats were simply tripping around in their own ignorance and didn’t know any better. Yet, in all seriousness, one can make the argument that as diverse as the present world is (and will continue to be), they should all know better. Maybe you could convincingly make that argument in 1954 or while happily chewing on Cracker Jacks with the fam while geeked out on The Roy Rogers Show. But, if they’re truly great collectors and purveyors of streaming data, they should have the tenacity and level of curiosity to have their fingers tapped into the obvious world around them.

Understood: It’s like the high school lunch room, where folks can’t help but gravitate to tables with familiar faces. But, that’s not an excuse. Black journalists, commentators and thought leaders—as active and pronounced as that community is—just don’t seem welcome when they should be. Yet, they’re out there, whether they are Andra Gillespie, Jason Johnson, Cornel Belcher or countless others who toil away on these topics as well (and sometimes even better) than the white guys do. Time to cut it out.

Charles D. Ellison is a veteran political strategist and frequent contributor to The Root. He is also Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune and chief political correspondent for Uptown magazine. Follow him on Twitter.