NABJ appalled by Gray TV Affiliate use of ‘Colored’ on air

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The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is appalled and disappointed by a recent incident at KMOV, Gray Television’s affiliate in St. Louis. While teasing a story about Black homeowners and appraisals, an anchor referred to the homeowners as “colored.”

It is upsetting that such a slur would make it to air. The term is outdated, offensive and racist. We are concerned that no one in the KMOV newsroom caught this error, and we question KMOV’s editorial process when it comes to cultural awareness.

Given that St. Louis’ population is 43% Black, and the city is no stranger to racial strife, we would hope KMOV would be more sensitive in how it covers the Black community. 

While we understand that there have been multiple on-air apologies and KMOV management has met with local leaders, that is not enough. KMOV and Gray TV should retrain their employees on diversity, equity and inclusion issues while investing in recruiting and retaining Black employees on and off-air. 

Management at KMOV has reached out to NABJ to learn how to educate the newsroom on issues within the Black community.

“We look forward to these discussions with KMOV’s management,” said NABJ President Ken Lemon and Vice President-Broadcast Walter Smith Randolph. “However, this further shows the fight for equal treatment and fair coverage is not over. We hope these discussions will be fruitful and yield documentable results.”

NABJ will continue to monitor this station and the efforts of Gray TV to enhance its processes and protocols to eliminate this and similar issues.

Gray TV also owns WGEM-TV in Quincy.

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