Acknowledging that there are "things to be done" with local and New York City coverage, Jansen said it would be a "leap" to begin predicting a "negative impact" on foreign and national coverage. "Obviously," Jansen said, "it's a fear for some people involved, but I would suggest that they control their paranoia and see what happens."

Along with the future of foreign news, diversity is now a hot topic. Schneider has a history of favoring his cronies, most of whom happen to be white, middle-aged, Jewish men. His perceived slight to Olojede may have been purely unintentional, but colleagues feel his failure to make amends has left him vulnerable. Other managers at the Long Island paper, including Payne and former managing editor Charlotte Hall, have been unflagging champions of diversity. Indeed, Newsday now has one of the most diverse newsrooms in the country, with minority representation up from 14.2 percent in 1996 to 25.8 percent in 2003. Some staffers worry that Olojede's departure may set off a stampede.

In recent weeks, many African Americans in the newsroom have scrutinized the "Dele situation" and their own prospects for advancement. Black editors have met with Jansen, while other staffers have sought help from Newsday's City Hall reporter Curtis Taylor, a past president of the New York Association of Black Journalists. Taylor and others continue to seek meetings with managers and an opportunity to be heard.

Last week, Jansen called the diversity concerns "unfounded," given that "one of the top jobs was offered to an African American and he chose not to take it." Schneider said, "We remain very committed to diversity and will continue to build on that strength."


cc@villagevoice.com

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