State Watch

Lightfoot doubles down on decision to exclusively take interviews from people of color

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot doubled down in a Monday podcast on an earlier statement that she would exclusively grant interviews to people of color. 

“I would absolutely do it again. I’m unapologetic about it because it spurred a very important conversation, a conversation that needed to happen, that should have happened a long time ago,” Lightfoot said when asked about the issue on The New York Times’s podcast Sway, which was released on Monday.

“The media is in a time of incredible upheaval and disruption,” she said. “But our city hall press corps looks like it’s 1950 or 1970. When I look across the podium, whether I’m in a formal press conference or I’m out in the neighborhood, the reporters who show up are invariably, overwhelmingly white.”

Lightfoot, who is Chicago’s first Black female mayor and the city’s first openly gay mayor, announced in May that she would only grant one-on-one interviews marking the two-year anniversary of her inauguration to people of color.

The announcement led to mixed reactions among Chicago media and resulted in backlash from conservative outlets. Lightfoot is facing a lawsuit over the decision filed by a reporter from the Daily Caller. She has called the suit “completely frivolous.”

“I am a Latino reporter @chicagotribune whose interview request was granted for today,” reporter Gregory Pratt tweeted in May. “However, I asked the mayor’s office to lift its condition on others and when they said no, we respectfully canceled. Politicians don’t get to choose who covers them.”

“I’m a Black woman mayor. I’m the mayor of the third largest city in the country. Obviously, I have a platform. It’s important to me to advocate on things that I believe are important,” Lightfoot said in the interview.


Tags Black journalists Chicago Diversity Lori Lightfoot Lori Lightfoot
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