Monday, August 25, 2008

Payne: Black journalists should be watchdogs, not lapdogs

By DeWayne Wickham

DENVER - Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Les Payne cautioned black journalists covering the Democratic National Convention that they should not abandon their watchdog roll is covering the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

"My charge to the black that if you're so friendly disposed toward Obama that you find yourself relating to him as though he's a rock star; that you find yourself so favorably disposed towards Obama that you look upon him with some reverence, then I think you should say 'I cannot cover him,' " he told New York radio station WWRL during a telephone interview from the floor of Denver's Pepsi Center arena.

Payne, a founding member and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said the watchdog role of journalists forces political candidates to answer tough questions while they are campaigning "and then once they get elected we have to hold them accountable."

1 comment:

Mike said...

It's about time someone with some pull and credentials said something!

I feel like there's a slew of Black journalists that, consciously, could not call Obama on his less publicized faults or dig deep into areas of his life and actions that other journalists have generally ignored, but very few of those journalists would jump off his beat, as Payne said, because of historical magnitude of it all.

I think you'd be hard pressed to find a Black journalist around who would pen the story that could potential derail this majavascript:void(0)
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