PABJ Statement on Allegations of Racism at CBS 3 Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (January 24, 2021) – The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists joins the community in public disappointment and disgust of the allegations describing “a hostile work environment that included bullying female managers and blocking efforts to hire and retain Black journalists” across various local CBS stations, most notably at KYW-TV Channel 3 (CBS Philly), in a recent story published in The Los Angeles Times. One of the most disheartening revelations from the report are allegations pertaining to CBS Television Stations President Peter Dunn frequently referring to CBS 3 Philadelphia news anchor Ukee Washington, a Black veteran journalist, as “just a jive guy.”
“A newsroom that racially degrades one of its hardest working Black journalists is a newsroom that mocks the integrity and trust of the communities it aims to cover ” says Ernest Owens, President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. “CBS 3 and other news stations should not only aim to pander to Black audiences with inconsistent gestures, but actively work to make their actions speak louder than racist rhetoric.”
PABJ stands in solidarity with Black staffers who have had to deal with the hardship of facing racial hardship and dealing with such unnecessary controversy in their own newsrooms.
PABJ is calling on more than just a formal apology from CBS, but immediate changes to their managerial practices, culture, and vetting.
We welcome a conversation and discussion of actionable changes with CBS 3 executive management on this matter and propose working together on a collaborative plan that addresses the systemic racism that is reflected in their newsroom, community outreach efforts, and their coverage.