Journalists debate role of race in media

Dave Yochum

A panel of Kent State student media representatives gathered in Verder Hall last night and met with members of the community to discuss the role of race in communication.

Moderated by journalism professor Gene Shelton, the panel of National Association of Black Journalists President and Uhuru Editor Tara Pringle; Black Squirrel Radio General Manager Micah Manus; and Daily Kent Stater staff members Aman Ali, Ryan Loew and Kali Price spoke about how race has affected their lives both privately and professionally.

A number of opinions and suggestions were shared throughout the discussion, but Ali’s controversial Stater column, “Black people need to start sharing,” was a common focus of debate throughout the evening.

After publishing an apology and becoming a lightning rod for criticism over his column, Ali, the Stater’s student affairs reporter, answered questions from both Shelton and the audience regarding his view on racism and the use of the n-word in his column. He admitted that he was reckless in the way he wrote his column but still feels strongly about the point he was trying to get across.

“I think people take race way too seriously,” Ali said. “People feel so uncomfortable about it, but I view it as something funny.”

Contact transportation reporter Dave Yochum at [email protected].