PHOENIX — The Media 2070 team will go on tour this fall to screen Black in the Newsroom, a 15-minute documentary following the journey of a talented young journalist who finds herself unfairly targeted and underpaid while fighting to tell Black stories in a major Arizona newsroom.
Elizabeth Montgomery’s commentary is interspersed with remarks from local residents, advocates, journalism researcher Carla Murphy, Media 2070 co-creator Alicia Bell and MediaJustice founder Malkia Devich-Cyril, among others. Together they weave a picture of anti-Blackness in the media — brought to life through Montgomery’s courageous sharing of her experiences — and its pervasive harm to society.
Upcoming screenings of Black in the Newsroom include:
Sept. 3: Phoenix Center for the Arts
Sept. 24: Detroit Black Film Festival
Nov. 3–6: Peachtree Village International Film Festival (Atlanta)
These screenings will include community dialogues featuring local organizers, academics and media-makers united by a passion for creating a just and democratic media system. For more information or to request a screening of the film, visit: www.blackinthenewsroom.com.
“When Black journalists are marginalized and pushed out of journalism, the results are disastrous,” said Collette Watson, vice president of cultural strategy for Free Press, co-creator of Media 2070 and director of Black in the Newsroom. “Lives and livelihoods are destroyed, and subsequent reporting fails to capture the full truth of Black stories. This dramatically shapes discourse and policies that affect quality of life on major issues ranging from COVID-19 to the 2022 elections and beyond.
“As Elizabeth bravely shares her story in our film, we see that the conversation is bigger than issues around hiring and diversity. Anti-Black racism has been extremely profitable for the U.S. media business since colonial times. And as long as it remains so, there will be generations of people harmed by this toxic system.
“We’re taking ‘Black in the Newsroom’ on tour to spark the types of conversations that can actually shift culture, practices and policy. We’re acknowledging harm, dreaming up media reparations and rising in solidarity.”