Black Editor Quits Kenosha News over Jacob Blake Coverage

The Kenosha News
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[The Kenosha News\Jacob Blake]
NY Times: "Daniel J. Thompson, a digital editor who said he was the only full-time Black staff member at the paper, which covers southeastern Wisconsin, said the headline did not accurately sum up the article and gave a false impression of the rally itself>"
Photo: Twitter

A Black journalist resigned on Saturday from his job at The Kenosha News after objecting to the headline of an article that chronicled a rally in support of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot seven times in the back by a white Kenosha police officer.

The journalist, Daniel J. Thompson, a digital editor who said he was the only full-time Black staff member at the paper, which covers southeastern Wisconsin, said the headline did not accurately sum up the article and gave a false impression of the rally itself, which he attended. The rally for Mr. Blake, who was left paralyzed by the shooting on Aug. 23, included calls for unity from his father, Jacob Blake Sr., and Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, the article said.

The headline, which appeared on the Kenosha News website on Saturday, highlighted a remark from one rally participant: “Kenosha speaker: ‘If you kill one of us, it’s time for us to kill one of yours.’” The online version of the article included a 59-second video showing the person who spoke those words, a Black man who was not identified by name.

Mr. Thompson, who joined the paper’s newsroom three years ago, said he found the headline off-base.

“The story is about the entire reaction of all the speakers and people in attendance, and that quote is one outlier falling within a flood of positive ones,” he said in an interview.

He added that the speech made by Mr. Blake’s father would have been more worthy of the headline.

“The things that frustrated me most is Mr. Blake, Jacob Blake’s father, himself personally, called for a night of peace, of no destruction, no riots,” Mr. Thompson said.

Read the rest of this story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/31/business/media/kenosha-newspaper-edit...

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