The National Association of Hispanic Journalists spoke out about CNN's lack of diversity on Monday, one day after Jeff Zucker's meeting with the National Association of Black Journalists.
Zucker was set to address concerns about the network's commitment to diversity after his first high-profile assignments did not include journalists of color. The meeting came just days after the announcement that Soledad O'Brien would no longer be a host. The Maynard Institute reported that NABJ president Gregory H. Lee Jr. is consulting with board members before commenting on the meeting with Zucker.
Now, the NAHJ is expressing similar concerns. NAHJ president Hugo Balta paid tribute to O'Brien on the organization's website, and wrote:
"With Soledad’s departure, there is now only one Latina anchor at CNN, Zoraida Sambolin, who co-hosts “Early Start” from 5-7 a.m. There are no other Latino anchors on CNN’s daytime programming or in its prime-time schedules. NAHJ urges CNN to take judicious positive steps in diversifying its lineup and filling this void with the hiring of Latino talent for its English-language network. Diversity must be of the utmost importance as CNN looks to successfully grow its network’s brand."
Balta called O'Brien "a champion of diversity," and noted that she funded awards for NAHJ student members pursuing broadcast journalism.
CNN has been criticized over diversity in the past, with the NAACP saying it was "deeply concerned" that there were no black anchors in CNN's primetime lineup. All of Zucker's major hires since his arrival at CNN — which include Jake Tapper and Chris Cuomo — are white.