Why the black press is more relevant than ever

Updated 3:01 PM ET, Thu November 30, 2017

David A. Love writes for thegrio.com, a website dedicated to covering news in the African-American community. He is a writer and commentator based in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidALove. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his. This is the next installment in the CNN Opinion series on the challenges facing the media, which is under attack from critics, governments and changing technology.

(CNN)For years, newsrooms across America have had a problem with a lack of diversity and inclusion. People of color are underrepresented among news organizations, which do not reflect the makeup of the general population and have made little progress in the past decade.

Although non-whites make up about 40% of the US population, journalists of color comprise only 16.55% of newsrooms' staff in 2017, according to the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) Newsroom Employment Diversity Survey.
Larger newsrooms and digital news organizations are a little better — 23.4% and 24.3%, respectively — but not much. People of color are only 13.4% of newsroom leaders.
This comes at a time when society needs and demands more inclusive news. It's been 190 years since the creation of the black press, and it's as relevant as ever.