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When Prince Harry described the UK press as “bigoted” during his interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, the Society of Editors was quick to issue a rebuttal that it was “not acceptable” for the Sussexes to make such claims. However, the backlash that followed saw the Society’s executive director stand down and an annual awards ceremony postponed after editors and high-profile journalists were among those who came forward to criticize the Society’s position.
Now, Harry and Meghan are seeking to amplify the voices of those accusing the Society of Editors of not showing genuine commitment to change. “Without admitting that racism exists and retracting their previous missive, the Society of Editors are denying the lived experiences of journalists of color as well as those who have had unfavorable media coverage purely because of the color of their skin...”We, the undersigned journalists of color, cannot have faith in an organization that is so detached from our reality and we would urge its member organizations to consider their continued participation in the group” a letter signed by 123 journalists reads. The letter was sent after the postponed awards ceremony took place and winners were announced.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have used their profiles to amplify the letter, saying they are “seeking to bring awareness to a coalition of U.K. journalists calling for stronger initiatives to combat the underrepresentation, inequity and racial bigotry that still persist in this important industry.” A post on their Archewell website also says that the organization is “a proud supporter of journalistic diversity and news media organizations that are committed to reporting the truth, uncovering untold stories and giving voice to the voiceless.”
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