Home   »  BLOG

Local Publicist Decries Lack of Positive African-American Coverage in Oakland

Posted by on

Jackie Wright, formerly Public Affairs Manager for CW Bay Area and now an independent publicist, wrote an impassioned latter to Bay Area independent media after only the Oakland Tribune covered a speech by former ambassador Andrew Young in Oakland.

Here is the note she sent:


Dear Journalists,

Thank you for your coverage of Ambassador Andrew Young. Please send me links or clips to your coverage when you complete your story and/or any links to advance stories or mentions.

As you know over 1,000 people gathered in Oakland on Saturday to hear Ambassador Young, who was incredible for his age. After a long day of travel the previous night, meeting with Reverend Jesse Jackson, journalists, and the clergy just before he made his presentation, he was absolutely brilliant especially for a man in his eighties.

Your Independent coverage is very significant in that except for the Oakland Tribune, no other corporate media was present to cover the story. No broadcast TV Stations and no major newspapers in San Francisco.

In light of the impact of corporate media on society as described in Dr. Kang's "Trojan Horses of Race"--that basically says TV news perpetuates and creates prejudice against racial minorities, your reports stand to counter unbalanced reports. If only one side of Oakland is reported---the shootings and negative, be assured we are all robbed of truth and information to make informed decisions.

If you don't read the entire report, at least take a moment to read the first two paragraphs of the synopsis--that includes---

"These implicit biases have been demonstrated to have real-world consequence - in how we interpret actions, perform on exams, interact with others, and even shoot a gun. The first half of this Article imports this remarkable science into the law reviews and sets out a broad intellectual agenda to explore its implications.....

Troubling is what's on the local news. Sensationalistic crime stories are disproportionately shown: If it bleeds, it leads. Racial minorities are repeatedly featured as violent criminals. Consumption of these images, the social cognition research suggests, exacerbates our implicit biases against racial minorities."


If Ambassador Andrew Young's Lecture is overlooked, what else in communities of color considered significant will be considered unimportant.

Women, Asians, Blacks, Latinos in newsrooms can trace their presence in corporate media back to the work of Ambassador Young and the Civil Rights Movement. Although much lip service is given, corporate media do not hold diversity as a priority. Across the nation, we are close to being in a state of condition found in the early 70's. The few reporters/editors of color that remain have a difficult time standing up to the floodgates or racism within the newsroom and without, as they try to do their jobs.


Please send me links to any of your story posts as soon as you get a moment.

"Freedom of the Press" is essential to our democracy.

Anything less than fair and balanced free press puts America in chains.

Thanks for your on-going hard work to keep America free.

Best regards,

Jackie Wright
Wright Enterprises
"Yes W.E. Can" since...
Before President Barack Obama