Do the media barons of London’s The Independent and New York Times think we’re stupid?

“First non-white” editors must herald brighter future for Black journalists

By Thomas L Blair,editor and publisher,, and Editions Blair © 16 May 2014

Separated by an ocean and ethnicity, India-born Amol Rajan of The Independent and African American Dean Baquet of the NY Times have one thing in common: they are the “first non-white” editors in an industry with a history of biased news reporting on Black communities.

amol rajan largest
Amol Rajan, editor The Independent

Rajan’s appointment by owner Evgeny Lebedev is exceptional and challenging on a newspaper which at the last count had no Black news management staff.

Dean Baquet, editor, The New York Times
Dean Baquet, editor, The New York Times

This pattern resonates in the case of Baquet, Times’ owner Arthur Sulzberger’s choice of as the first top editor in its 163 year history. Only 7.8 per cent of Times journalists are Black, despite making up about 15 percent of the New York state population, according to the American Society of News Editors study in 2013.


Media watchdogs might applaud the appointments as an affirmative thrust that could lead to a new age of racial inclusion in UK and US newsrooms.

To achieve this initiative, owners Lebedev and Sulzberger and their new “first non-white editors” must act: * To drastically change, amend and reform biased news management and champion diversity and fair employment practices. * To pioneer integrated staff not only in print but in the crucial areas of media growth, advertising, and digital and television output. A fairer media will appeal to and cover an increasingly diverse readership. But communities will have to keep journalists’  feet to the fires of outrage. Read more and download the FREE new e-Book, FAIR MEDIA — British Blacks Challenge the Nation’s Newsrooms. See The British Library, Social Welfare Knowledge Portal