The last time I visited the Crain building on Gratiot, I could count on one hand the number of black people that were there, and most of them were security guards and cafeteria help. So while I can appreciate Bill Shea’s stance on Kid Rock’s baffling embrace of the Confederate flag, I have to ask: When is CDB going to practice what they preach when it comes to diversity?
One could easily make an argument that straight-line business reporting requires more of an ability to crunch numbers rather than cultural awareness of the region where the coverage is based, but let’s think about this for a second here in Detroit, where we see racial politics intersecting with business development often. A quick scroll through the staff list at CDB shows exactly one editor of color in a sea of white folks on the editorial side. That would be, oh, completely opposite of what the city of Detroit looks like and certainly not reflective of Southeast Michigan as a whole.
Off the top of my head, it’s possible CDB has Detroit’s largest, whitest staff here, if you discount the smaller outlets like Model D and Deadline Detroit. You’ll see some black bylines every now and then — like mine! and I’ve always appreciated the opportunity to freelance for CDB, let’s get that straight — but what efforts has CDB made to diversify its staff, particularly when staffers have called for more diversity in the revival of the city they cover?
There’s an opening right now for a reporter to cover the city of Detroit. How much do you want to bet that a reporter of color won’t get that job? As Fox 2’s M.L. Elrick pointed out already, almost all of the city hall reporters in this town are white men, so CDB has a prime opportunity to keep the status quo there, which they’ll most likely do.