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The PD is racist?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Joe Williams, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Ripped from today's -- OK, yesterday's -- headlines:


    The Plain Dealer is under fire from black journalists after adding another white guy to its roster of sports columnists, a team that now has the diversity and sex appeal of a Golden Girls shower scene.

    In a letter last week, Roxanne Jones, an ESPN V.P. and member of the National Association of Black Journalists, criticized the hiring of former Akron Beacon Journal columnist Terry Pluto. He is white, male, and the love child of a Whose Line Is It Anyway? skit gone bad.

    In her letter, Jones criticized the PD's poor minority hiring record, which includes the time editors got drunk and approved Bud Shaw's Sunday Spin column. The paper should have at least interviewed some black candidates for the job, she wrote.

    Editor Susan Goldberg, formerly of the more diverse San Jose Mercury News, admits her paper is whiter than a Shelley Long movie marathon. "I came from a much more diverse newsroom," she [says]...

  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot for helping my cause, Cleveland Obscene, Dammit!

    And I don't think the Golden Girls ever had a shower scene. I watched every episode and still have my vision.
  3. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I've got five bucks that says the Cleveland Scene doesn't make similar comments should the newsroom swing heavily black.

    And anyone who criticizes the hiring of Terry Pluto simply because he's white either don't know, don't show, or don't care1 about the quality of sports newspapering. Seriously, that'd be like criticizing the Cavs for signing Steve Nash.

    On the other hand, Ace has to change his side siggy to "I'm so white enough to work for the Plain-Dealer."

    1 -- Yes, I'm quoting Doughboy. Eat me.
  4. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Also, did something change in the way we adjust font sizes? Used to be that size=7 gave you seven-point copy. Now it gives you screaming big letters.
  5. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    You mean Brown's Town isn't enough?

    Seriously though, Pluto is the best columnist in NE Ohio at least, if not the state. You can't really criticize that hire.
  6. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    That may be the most ridiculous complaint I've ever read in regards to a newspaper.
  7. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    At least now the PD has managed to produce outrage from both ends of the spectrum. Marty Gitlin says they only hire women and minorities, NABJ says they only hire white guys.

    My head is spinning.
  8. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Seemed to me that you people need blue font to pick up any sarcasm.
  9. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I read it, and really, it's two different points, as I see it.

    A) The PD newsroom isn't diverse enough, and there seems to be a consensus there.

    B) Terry Pluto was a must-hire.

    Unfortunately, B) simply served to more starkly point out A). But neither point invalidates the other. The PD just has to work on its minority hiring.
  10. dcdream

    dcdream Member

    Express has it right under normal circumstances. Taking the best columnist in the state is a must hire. You hurt the competition.

    The problem is this. The P-D already had two middle aged, white males.. Now you add a third. Where is the different viewpoint. Second, if the P-D had taken care of its minority hires in the first place, you would not have to worry about groups such as NABJ coming down hard on this choice.

    Quite simple, if the P-D had a record of hiring black sports columnists, then it would get a pass.

    If Pluto is a must-hire. Why can't a minority voice be a MUST hire.

    Consider Cleveland is 53 percent black. Consider the city's top players:

    Cavs: LeBron and a team full of black players.
    Indians: CC Sabathia, lots of minorities.
    Browns: Lots of black players.

    While I agree that Pluto was a must hire...I believe having more diverse voices is MUST and can't not be ignored.

  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    dcdream, you left out a demographic breakdown. What is the minority vs. non-minority pie chart of the PD's subscribers? And what can you point to that suggests a minority hire will grow the pie overall or even increase the size of the minority-reader slice?

    You can't just assume that the readership and purchasing habits of the various segments of Cleveland's population are interchangeable. A black sports columnist might add and subtract some readers. Same with Terry Pluto. Until you can quantify this sort of stuff, we're all just guessing. Or being fashionable.

    In the meantime, hiring on merit seems like a good idea.
  12. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    dc, I understand exactly what you're saying.

    That's the problem with having such a crappy track record on diversity. When you get to this spot, you don't get the pass, so you're stuck, because again, you have to hire Pluto.

    That's why you do this right as an ongoing enterprise, and why the PD needs to get going.
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