NABJ President Urges Media Companies To Recruit Minorities

Source: Olivia Owens /

On March 14 the board of directors of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) wrote an open letter to media startups inviting companies to partner with NABJ to solve the lack of diversity in newsrooms.

American Journalism Review recently spoke with Bob Butler, president of NABJ, to discuss the letter and ask about next steps in creating a solution.

What follows are highlights of the conversation, edited for clarity.

AJR: In the letter, you say, “journalists of color are frustrated at feeling shut out of this hiring wave.” Have you heard a lot of complaints from journalists of color on this issue?

Bob Butler: We see this at startups, but it’s not just startup companies, [it’s] all companies. . .A lot of times we don’t even know that there is hiring being done until it’s maybe too late to get in. You would think that these companies would reach out to journalism organizations when they’re about to start to see if they can get some of our members in. We just don’t see that happening.

To read the entire interview with Bob Butler visit