Communiqué

How to Overcome Racism in Newsrooms from a Journalist with Experience


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There are too few African Americans in the country’s newsrooms and especially in news management positions.

In 2020 racism still exists in America’s media companies from the smallest to the largest. Sometimes it is evident in hiring practices, promotions, or just in daily professional life.

Traversing this media landscape is often difficult for Black journalists, says Allison Hunter, journalist, educator, activist and mother of two college age sons.

Hunter has fought the racial battles within news organizations for the bulk of her career and she shares how she has survived professionally.

She has over 20 years of experience in commercial television as an executive producer, assistant news director, and interim news director. She has worked from Cleveland, Dayton, and Cincinnati to Chicago and Los Angeles.

Hunter is currently the Editor in Chief of WOUB News as part of WOUB Public Media at Ohio University.

In this edition of WOUB’s Spectrum podcast, Hunter shares some of her survival tips and talks about the advice that she gives young students about to embark on a journalism career in an industry replete with racism.

She talks about how they need to have a great grasp of who they are as people and to be true to themselves – especially when they are slighted or perhaps targeted based on race.

They need to always be thinking about and analyzing their positions and how they can advance professionally without compromising themselves, Hunter adds.

She also talks about how she has had to compartmentalize her life being a journalist, an educator and a mother of two black young men. She also has to compartmentalize her personal passions for change and activism for movements for equal rights.

Juggling these various aspects of life can be difficult, Hunter says.

She advises her young journalism students who feel overwhelmed to sometimes just take a break…unplug and do whatever works to clear your head. Otherwise, things can become muddled and more problematic.