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NABJ Demands Action Towards Systemic Change

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) expresses profound concern and disappointment regarding the recent incident involving TEGNA-owned KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon. During a live program featuring photographs submitted by viewers for a “Throwback Thursday” segment, an egregious error occurred when a racist image was aired, according to Oregon Live. 

It is disheartening that a viewer submitted such an offensive image, but equally troubling is the failure of KGW-TV’s screening process to prevent it from being broadcast. Despite the station’s claim of having a rigorous content screening policy, this incident highlights a severe breakdown in its procedures.

While we appreciate KGW’s prompt apology and their decision to allow a local NAACP leader to address the issue on air, we firmly assert that apologies alone are insufficient. In response to this incident, NABJ is calling for a meeting with KGW-TV and TEGNA leadership to address the root causes of this failure and implement meaningful changes.

Furthermore, NABJ is calling on KGW-TV to re-evaluate its photo submission and screening processes to ensure incidents of this nature do not recur. We also call upon the station to transparently release diversity statistics, particularly regarding the representation of Black managers in key editorial decision-making positions.

In addition to these measures, NABJ is advocating for KGW to invest in racial sensitivity and anti-discrimination training for its staff. Media organizations must foster an inclusive and equitable environment that reflects the diversity of the communities they serve.

“This lapse in judgment serves as a stark reminder that the fight for fair and equal treatment of Black individuals is ongoing,” said NABJ President Ken Lemon, NABJ Vice President-Broadcast Walter Smith Randolph, and NABJ Region IV Director Tre’vell Anderson in a joint statement. “NABJ remains committed to advocating for racial equality and increased Black representation in the news and media industry.”


Ken Lemon, President, NABJ

Walter Smith Randolph, Vice President-Broadcast, NABJ

Tre’vell Anderson, Region IV Director, NABJ

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