Mr. Kosner’s Neighborhood

‘Daily News’ Accused of Race Discrimination—Again

According to one staffer, the editors barely give lip service to hiring minorities: "They keep making excuses like, 'They're hard to find.' " But even when the News hires minorities, says this source, editors don't give them a grace period in which it's OK to fail, or take the time to train and promote them. Management does not send the message that it's important for minority employees to succeed, says this source, and as a result, "minorities leave all the time." (Black features writer Denene Millner recently quit, according to one source, expressing her frustration with the lack of minority news coverage.)

Ironically, the decision to transfer Allen came at a time when News editors were discussing ways to increase the number of blacks in editorial. According to one staffer, the transfer did in part reflect Allen's performance: While he is a "smart, energetic, and tenacious" reporter, his writing often needs polishing, and the transfer was made "to get him away from editors who didn't want to work with him." But this source says the editors bear some responsibility for Allen's demise, in that "no one took the time to work off the rough edges to make him as good as he thinks he is."

While critics see minority representation in the newsroom as half-empty, Daily News spokesman Ken Frydman sees it as half-full. "We have minority representation among our reporters and editors," he said, citing the black sports editor and three black columnists, "and our recruitment efforts are ongoing."


ccotts@villagevoice.com

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