A Latino reporter canceled a scheduled interview with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot after her office refused to lift a moratorium on interviews with white reporters.
The Chicago Tribune’s Gregory Pratt said on Twitter that he had asked the mayor’s office to lift the condition.
“Politicians don’t get to choose who covers them,” he said.
Lightfoot’s policy of accepting interview requests only from black or brown reporters was reported Tuesday by NBC reporter Mary Ann Ahern, who cited the mayor’s spokeswoman.
Fox News reported Tuesday it was unclear whether or not the policy applied only to local reporters.
Lightfoot did an interview Monday with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, who is white.
Many journalists expressed outrage at the practice and backed Pratt. Some called for other reporters to follow his lead.
Lightfoot reacted on Twitter to the opposition, arguing the reporters covering her city don’t reflect its diversity.
“I ran to break up the status quo that was failing so many. That isn’t just in City Hall. It’s a shame that in 2021, the City Hall press corps is overwhelmingly White in a city where more than half of the city identifies as Black, Latino, AAPI or Native American,” she tweeted.
“Diversity and inclusion is imperative across all institutions including media.”
The mayor said she’s “being intentional.”
“In order to progress we must change,” she said. “This is exactly why I’m being intentional about prioritizing media requests from POC reporters on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of my inauguration as mayor of this great city.”
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