African American journalists criticize MSNBC for possible Sharpton hire

Journal-isms |The New York Times

As MSNBC appears ready to hire activist Rev. Al Sharpton for its 6 p.m. time slot, some African American journalists are saying the move reflects an unfortunate trend at cable networks. In recent months, the NAACP and others have expressed concerns about the absence of African American hosts and anchors on nightly national news shows. While the hiring of Sharpton would change this, "this would still be just another non-journalist media 'celebrity' receiving a TV show based upon their name recognition, not their years of experience, training, ability and talent," one NABJ member told colleagues, according to Richard Prince. Other African American non-journalists who have had their own cable news shows include CNN's Jesse Jackson, Arthel Neville and D.L. Hughley, and MSNBC's Alan Keyes and Carlos Watson.

  • Mallary Jean Tenore

    As managing editor of The Poynter Institute’s website,, I report on the media news industry, edit the site’s How To section, and moderate the site's live chats. I also help handle the site's social media efforts, and teach social media sessions on the side.


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