Global News resignation controversy highlights systemic racism

Source: Canwest/Shaw Media, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This story (linked below) from Vice regarding a radio host quitting piqued my interest as Global News have been in the media headlines recently especially regarding the allege “culture of racist microaggressions”.

Working in a newsroom is an extremely competitive environment. It’s tough, deadline-driven and it’s even more challenging when you’re a person of colour, trying to navigate complex situations.

In August 2020, journalists who were vocal about the newsroom culture were laid off.

In June 2020, social media strategist Joshua Grant spoke out about receiving threats of dismissal after refusing to create a Big Brother Canada meme based on Colin Kaepernick’s Dream Crazy Nike ad.

And who could forget freelance ET Canada host Ika Wong’s Twitter statement regarding the shows “silence on the injustice that black people are facing” and not being compensated fairly compared to her white colleagues

It pains me to see these talented folks quit the media brand.

My time at Global in two separate occasions were filled with absolutely talented people who were passionate about news. It was the perfect environment to grow up journalistically. 

I was fortunate enough to have great managers in the broadcast side and colleagues in the digital side. But it also wasn’t the perfect place for a BIPOC journalist. 

Canadian newsrooms are now facing a racial reckoning. Unfortunately “many studies have shown that Canada-wide, visible minorities are under-represented as journalists,” according to a Ryerson study on Diversity in Leadership and Media, written by its professors and senior leadership.

To combat this racial inequity, senior management and decision makers in the newsroom need to be more representative of Canada’s diverse populations.

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