PBS And Al Jazeera America Are Diversifying – Will Lily-White News Rivals Follow Suit?

Source: Sara Morrison / The Wrap

PBS and Al Jazeera America are shaking up the status quo by hiring a diverse group of journalists for key on-air positions. The moves reflect the networks’ conscious effort to become more multicultural in their approach, executives tell TheWrap.

When Gwen Ifill (left) and Judy Woodruff were named the co-anchors of PBS NewHour on Tuesday, it was hailed as a historic advancement for both women and minorities in TV news, where both have been largely underrepresented.

Along with Ifill and Woodruff, Indian-American Hari Sreenivasan became the show’s senior correspondent, adding to his upcoming responsibilities as the anchor of the show’s new weekend edition. Behind the camera, Linda Winslow serves as the show’s executive producer. Previously Ifill and Woodruff rotated hosting duties on the program long anchored by Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil.

PBS isn’t the only channel making an effort to diversify its talent: Al Jazeera America, set to launch Aug. 20, has been on a hiring spree — and many of those hires are minorities. Joie Chen, Antonia Mora and Ali Velshi will anchor shows on the network, and many hires both in front and behind the camera have been similarly diverse.

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