Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Diversity Roundtable closes the door on reporters

Whatever goes on in American Society of Newspaper Editors Board meetings must be pretty important. Of course, we wouldn't know, because the meetings are all closed to reporters and photographers.

Oxymoronic for a pack of editors to present their collective boot to a reporter? You’d think, but this journalist was (very politely) removed from the Diversity Roundtable earlier today after being told the presentation was off-limits so participants could be more “frank”.

Why editors can’t also be “frank” on the record to a fellow newsperson is a mystery to me – must be that hounding other non-journalist sources to allow access to even more super-secret board meetings can really take it out of an editor.

Anyway, a few board members were apparently unaware of the exclusivity of their hotshot club. Board member Robert Rivard, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, contributed this nugget outside the imposing closed doors of Salon IV this morning: “I’m all for transparency. I have nothing to hide!”



jsyoon said...

It doesn't surprise me that Mr. Rivard has nothing to hide. He is a minority and his paper has one of the highest minority percentages in the business. If all papers were like his, there wouldn't be a minority staffing issue.

OlmedaNAHJ said...

I was in on that meeting and was not aware that it was closed to the student press covering the convention. It is disappointing. NAHJ's statement on the diversity numbers quoted from that meeting, and I do not recall anyone saying that the discussion was off the record. All the people in that room care about the diversity issue and have shown true commitment to making better progress in the industry. Mr. Rivard is not the only one who had nothing to hide. The industry has failed to make progress in spite of the efforts of the people in that room.