The Pittsburgh newspaper has been accused of banning two Black journalists from reporting on anything protest-related due to them being seen as biased reporters because they are Black.
What We Know:
- The newspaper has banned Michael Santiago and one other journalist, Alexis Johnson. Santiago is a photojournalist and was a part of the newspaper when they won the Pulitzer Award in 2019.
- The newspaper is accused of removing two articles on Friday pertaining to the protests over George Floyd’s death and are penalizing any employees who support their Black colleagues.
- Santiago took to Twitter saying that he had been banned from reporting on the protests and that the Pittsburgh newspaper has banned also another Black journalist, who he says joins him in being the “most prominent Black journalist during one of the most important civil rights stories that is happening across our country.”
Just like @alexisjreports I have been barred from covering any protest related stories. @PittsburghPG has chosen to silence two of it most prominent Black journalist during one of the most important civil rights stories that is happening across our country! https://t.co/ppIHrAyiOd
— Michael M. Santiago (@msantiagophotos) June 6, 2020
- Alexis Johnson, the other reporter who was banned on reporting on the protest was initially banned because of a tweet she posted about the looting. She pitched three stories pertaining to the protests on Monday and was declined. The next day she was told she was banned from any further reporting on protests because of her biased tweet.
Horrifying scenes and aftermath from selfish LOOTERS who don’t care about this city!!!!!
…. oh wait sorry. No, these are pictures from a Kenny Chesney concert tailgate. Whoops. pic.twitter.com/lKRNrBsltU
— Alexis Johnson (@alexisjreports) May 31, 2020
- Johnson says that management’s decision is a punishment and she told the Washington Post, ““I thought it was a funny tweet and something to think about, as we’ve seen destruction in the city over the years for different motivations. Journalists of color have been covering these issues for years, for generations. Our communities were being attacked and we were still able to report the news fairly. And it’s unfortunate that opportunity was taken away from me.”
The Pittsburgh newspaper’s staff is 10 percent Black. Johnson still has not heard back from management at the paper regarding her reporting coverage. She and Santiago are still banned from reporting on protests despite the continuation over the weekend. Johnson urges other Black journalists to speak and tell their stories because “you’d be surprised how many people support you.”