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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

6/08/2004

White like me

Charles Campbell over at The Tyee has an interesting article on the lily white nature of the Global on air election team.
When the conference broke for coffee, Leonard Asper idly and unwittingly approached me. I have a question, I said. "Does it bother you that every member of your 32-member election team appears to be white?"

"Ah, yes it does," he replied. But that doesn't mean that many of the journalists who stand behind them aren't members of visible minorities, he said, noting Global TV's diversity program. He said seniority issues are partly to blame. Unions, he said, make it hard to give young, culturally diverse reporters the best assignments. He did acknowledge, when asked, that his company's own staff cuts make the issue more difficult to address.
the tyee
I suspect Asper is being a bit disingenuous. At the same time I wonder if we should not be striving for intelligence, clarity and decent analysis regardless of skin tone. We spend endless time trying to distinguish ourselves from Americans and one way of doing this is to avoid the sheer tokenism of affirmative action.