Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot faces backlash for only giving black and brown reporters interviews

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing backlash over a decision to grant one-on-one interviews to only ‘black and brown’ reporters to mark her two-year anniversary in the role.

Lightfoot, who is the city’s first female black mayor, was forced to address her decision on Wednesday after a number of local reporters started tweeting a day earlier about how white journalists wouldn’t be allowed to interview her one-on-one.  

Gregory Pratt, a Chicago Tribune reporter who is Latino, revealed he was among those who had been granted an interview but the newspaper decided to cancel it when Lightfoot refused to lift her ban on other reporters. 

‘I am a Latino reporter @chicagotribune whose interview request was granted for today. However, I asked the mayor’s office to lift its condition on others and when they said no, we respectfully canceled,’ Pratt tweeted.  

‘Politicians don’t get to choose who covers them.’

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing backlash over a decision to only grant one-on-one interviews to black and brown reporters to mark her two-year anniversary in the role

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing backlash over a decision to only grant one-on-one interviews to black and brown reporters to mark her two-year anniversary in the role

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing backlash over a decision to only grant one-on-one interviews to black and brown reporters to mark her two-year anniversary in the role

Gregory Pratt, a Chicago Tribune reporter who is Latino, said he was among those who been granted an interview but the newspaper decided to cancel it when Lightfoot refused to lift her ban on other reporters

Gregory Pratt, a Chicago Tribune reporter who is Latino, said he was among those who been granted an interview but the newspaper decided to cancel it when Lightfoot refused to lift her ban on other reporters

Gregory Pratt, a Chicago Tribune reporter who is Latino, said he was among those who been granted an interview but the newspaper decided to cancel it when Lightfoot refused to lift her ban on other reporters

The Mayor confirmed in a series of tweets that she was intentionally ‘prioritizing media requests from POC reporters’ and that it was a ‘shame’ the journalists assigned to cover Chicago’s City Hall in 2021 were overwhelmingly white.

‘I ran to break up the status quo that was failing so many. That isn’t just in City Hall. It’s a shame that in 2021, the City Hall press corps is overwhelmingly white in a city where more than half of the city identifies as black, Latino, AAPI or Native American,’ she tweeted. 

‘Diversity and inclusion is imperative across all institutions including media. In order to progress we must change. 

This is exactly why I’m being intentional about prioritizing media requests from POC reporters on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of my inauguration as mayor of this great city.

‘This is an imbalance that needs to change. Chicago is a world-class city. Our local media should reflect the multiple cultures that comprise it. We must be intentional about doing better. I believed that when running for office. I stand on this belief now. It’s time for the newsrooms to do better and build teams that reflect the make-up of our city.’ 

The news first emerged on Tuesday when NBC Chicago's political reporter Mary Ann Ahern, who is white, tweeted that only black and brown reporters would be given one-on-one interviews

The news first emerged on Tuesday when NBC Chicago's political reporter Mary Ann Ahern, who is white, tweeted that only black and brown reporters would be given one-on-one interviews

The news first emerged on Tuesday when NBC Chicago’s political reporter Mary Ann Ahern, who is white, tweeted that only black and brown reporters would be given one-on-one interviews

A number of other local TV reporters, including WTTW's Heather Cherone and Paris Schutz quickly tweeted that they had been told the same thing

A number of other local TV reporters, including WTTW's Heather Cherone and Paris Schutz quickly tweeted that they had been told the same thing

A number of other local TV reporters, including WTTW’s Heather Cherone and Paris Schutz quickly tweeted that they had been told the same thing

The news first emerged on Tuesday when NBC Chicago’s political reporter Mary Ann Ahern, who is white, tweeted: ‘As ⁦@ChicagoMayor reaches her two year midway point as mayor, her spokeswoman says Lightfoot is granting 1 on 1 interviews – only to black or brown journalists.’ 

A number of other local TV reporters, including WTTW’s Heather Cherone and Paris Schutz quickly tweeted that they had been told the same thing. 

One local reporter, Kelly Garcia, said that maybe Lightfoot’s office would now finally respond to her series of Freedom of Information Act requests. 

‘Does this mean the Mayor’s Office will actually respond to my FOIA requests,’ she tweeted. ‘@chicagosmayor please start by getting my requests fulfilled lol.’ 

Following Lightfoot’s statement, local journalist Taylor Moore said the backlash and reaction to the Mayor’s decision was ‘fascinating’. 

‘The response to this is so fascinating. White journalists are aggrieved and journalists of color are like ‘lmaooooooo ok??’,’ she tweeted. 

WGN News anchor and political reporter Tahman Bradley said: ‘Lightfoot has feuded with certain reporters recently but her office says she wants to shine a spotlight on the lack of diversity in the City Hall briefing room’. 

Becky Vevea, a political reporter with WBEZ radio, tweeted: ‘Let’s root for and support our colleagues who get one-on-ones with @chicagosmayor. It’s not a competition. Our city needs all the watchdogging it can get.’ 

One local reporter, Kelly Garcia, said that maybe Lightfoot's office would now finally respond to her series of FOIA requests

One local reporter, Kelly Garcia, said that maybe Lightfoot's office would now finally respond to her series of FOIA requests

One local reporter, Kelly Garcia, said that maybe Lightfoot’s office would now finally respond to her series of FOIA requests

WGN News anchor and political reporter Tahman Bradley said: 'Lightfoot has feuded with certain reporters recently but her office says she wants to shine a spotlight on the lack of diversity in the City Hall briefing room'

WGN News anchor and political reporter Tahman Bradley said: 'Lightfoot has feuded with certain reporters recently but her office says she wants to shine a spotlight on the lack of diversity in the City Hall briefing room'

WGN News anchor and political reporter Tahman Bradley said: ‘Lightfoot has feuded with certain reporters recently but her office says she wants to shine a spotlight on the lack of diversity in the City Hall briefing room’

Following Lightfoot's statement, local journalist Taylor Moore said the backlash and reaction to the Mayor's decision was 'fascinating'

Following Lightfoot's statement, local journalist Taylor Moore said the backlash and reaction to the Mayor's decision was 'fascinating'

Following Lightfoot’s statement, local journalist Taylor Moore said the backlash and reaction to the Mayor’s decision was ‘fascinating’

Becky Vevea, a political reporter with WBEZ radio, tweeted: 'Let's root for and support our colleagues who get one-on-ones with @chicagosmayor. It's not a competition. Our city needs all the watchdogging it can get.'

Becky Vevea, a political reporter with WBEZ radio, tweeted: 'Let's root for and support our colleagues who get one-on-ones with @chicagosmayor. It's not a competition. Our city needs all the watchdogging it can get.'

Becky Vevea, a political reporter with WBEZ radio, tweeted: ‘Let’s root for and support our colleagues who get one-on-ones with @chicagosmayor. It’s not a competition. Our city needs all the watchdogging it can get.’

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