The association of black journalists dished out the awards at its annual convention.
The National Association of Black Journalists has given NPR its “Thumbs Down” award for 2014 over its cancellation of the multicultural show “Tell Me More” and NPR’s elimination of 28 positions across its newsroom in an effort to cut costs.
The “Best Practices” award went to Al Jazeera America as a network “committed to creative, compelling, character driven storytelling which provides a depth and breadth about the news of the day, but also stories which have until then gone untold.”
The awards were announced in news releases late Saturday, a day after “Tell Me More” ended its seven-year run before a live audience at its Washington studios. The show was canceled as part of efforts to resolve a $6.1 million budget deficit.
Jarl Mohn, the new president and CEO of NPR, said on the show Monday that “I want us to be, by far, the leader in media and diversity.”
NABJ President Bob Butler said in a release, “The importance of public media to make a concerted effort to be distinctive in its storytelling methods, to offer its audiences depth by featuring untold stories, and to as an end result diversify and expand audiences was best exemplified by a show like Tell Me More and how the program sought to operate. [NPR] has as two of [its] stated goals . . . to ‘expand, diversify and engage our audiences’ and ‘grow net revenues.’
“One however cannot [supersede] the other and greater care should have been taken to preserve Tell Me More as an example of what NPR’s new core should be and as . . .a representation of a truly superb way in which public media can embrace diversity.
Source: The Root | RICHARD PRINCE