CNN is launching “a new and expanded race team” after the weeks-long national conversation around race and racism, network president Jeff Zucker told staff Monday.
“I could not be prouder of the impactful work that CNN has done on every platform in the last few years – and especially in the last several weeks – covering race and racial injustice in America. Our reporting has been powerful, emotional, and helped to shed a light on the growing movement against institutional racism,” he wrote in an internal memo. “Today, I am pleased to announce that we are making an even more significant, sustained commitment to ensure race coverage is a permanent part of our journalism.”
He went on, “The recent conversations we’ve had in our newsrooms have been informative and constructive. We have valued them, we heard you, and we will continue listening. There are structural changes and investments we can and will make to better cover what is happening in our society. We are committed to doing that.”
“In that spirit, we are pleased to share the news of a new and expanded race team, which will contribute to all CNN platforms,” Zucker added. “This team will build on what so many do already at CNN and will provide the needed structure to cover this beat with more focus and force.”
Delano Massey, a recent hire from the Associated Press, will lead the new team, which Zucker said won’t be a “silo” for race coverage as much as a “center and a beacon to enable us to do all the work there is to do in the most timely, relevant way we can for audiences across all platforms.”
The team will be hiring for a senior writer, senior editor and breaking and trend writer.
The move is one of many CNN has undertaken in recent weeks, as the outlet released guidance that “Black” and “White” should both be capitalized when discussing race, staffers can say “black lives matter” on social media and they can make certain donations, but not participate in protests.