Group of MPR, APM journalists call for anti-racist action, accountability following departures at MPR | KSTP.com

Group of MPR, APM journalists call for anti-racist action, accountability following departures at MPR

Marianne Combs. Photo: Courtesy of MPR News.. Marianne Combs.

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: September 22, 2020 10:36 AM
Created: September 22, 2020 10:15 AM

A group of journalists at Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media are calling on the company to make changes after high-profile departures of several employees recently.

Transform MPR posted a letter to the public calling for MPR to take anti-racist action and accountability, citing a lack of trust in the company's senior leaders by both the public and employees.

Last week, veteran MPR reporter Marianne Combs resigned, saying her bosses covered for a DJ accused of sexual misconduct at a sister station. MPR later said that DJ was no longer employed at the station.

"Our company culture and our news coverage routinely prioritizes white audiences and their stories, neglecting communities of color. The company, over its 53-year history, has also fostered a harmful working environment for women and journalists of color," the letter says in part.

"We are encouraged by the recent hire of Duchesne Drew to lead the MPR division. We know Mr. Drew has a long commitment to equity, and has already made improvements to our culture. But too much is being put on his shoulders," it continues.

The group called for MPR to take concrete action and offered the following solutions:

  • Equitable and transparent hiring,
  • A public apology and an immediate commitment to transparency,
  • Full support for the recommendations of the MPR newsroom diversity committee,
  • Employee and community representation on the board,
  • More trustworthy and transparent Human Resources department.

Transform MPR also encouraged the public to call its membership team at 651-290-1212, email contribute@mpr.org or tag @MPR on Twitter with the hashtag #TransformMPR and #TransformAPM to support them.

You can read the full letter here.


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