Yesterday, FTVLive told you that after the NABJ made critical comments about CNN's treatment and lack on black employees, the NABJ said the network cut off funding.
NABJ said that The cable news network withdrew their financial support of the NABJ's 2015 Convention and Career Fair.
After FTVLive posted the story, CNN responded with their own statement: “Following NABJ’s recent comments about CNN, we informed them we were reconsidering our relationship, but we were clear that we had not made a final decision. It’s surprising to us that they would choose to make such a statement.”
So: Butler says that the network had definitively withdrawn support; CNN says not quite. “They’re basically calling me a liar,” said to the Washington Post. “That’s very disturbing.”
So CNN is now calling the NABJ President a liar, but the problem is much deeper than that.
As the Post points out, that critical press release and NABJ’s proposal to CNN for the 2015 annual convention hit CNN at about the same time, according to Butler. Therein lies a core conflict in what NABJ — and other journalism-diversity groups, for that matter — does from day to day.
On the one hand, it monitors how well newsrooms embrace diversity; on the other, it pitches those same newsrooms to ante up for convention space and other stuff. Have a look at the 2014 convention program book with a nice full-page ad from CNN proclaiming, “CNN proudly supports the National Association of Black Journalists.” Says Butler: “They’re a corporate partner like many other companies are. We have relationships with CNN, with Fox News, CBS, NBC, ABC — those are all partners within NABJ.”
So, while the NABJ is issuing critical statements against CNN, they are also asking them for money. In a way, you really can't blame CNN for telling them "no".
But, they don't need to lie about it.