DC Mayor says Lightfoot was 'making a point’ in only granting one-on-one interviews to reporters of color

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday said that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was "making a point" when she made her  controversial announcement to only grant interviews to journalists.

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The mayor congratulated Lightfoot on her second year in office, saying she has also discussed making newsrooms more closely resemble the cities they cover with editors throughout D.C.

"I think she decided to make a point on this anniversary that we need to see more beat reporters that look like the cities that they’re covering and that’s been a discussion that I’ve had with editors around this city – and we want to continue to urge them to hire people that reflect the city, and the city halls that they work in," Bowser said.

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Asked if she would ever consider a similar policy, Bowser declined to say she’d do the same, but said she still supports Lightfoot’s decision.

"I think she used the anniversary to make a point – I support her, and I support working with everybody that is covering city hall in Washington, D.C. fairly. But I do think it’s a fair point, because I don’t think many people think about it, that all of our news outlets concentrate on diversity.

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Lightfoot has defended her controversial announcement to only give individual interviews to journalists of color and blasted Chicago media institutions for their "overwhelming whiteness and maleness" in an extraordinary letter on Wednesday.

"In looking at the absence of diversity across the City Hall press corps and other newsrooms, sadly it does not appear that many of the media institutions in Chicago have caught on and truly have not embraced this moment," she wrote. "I have been struck since my first day on the campaign trail back in 2018 by the overwhelming whiteness and maleness of Chicago media outlets, editorial boards, the political press corps, and yes, the City Hall press corps specifically."

In the statement, Lightfoot also mocked white reporters and media bosses as hopelessly out of touch.

"It is too heavy a burden to bear, on top of all the other massive challenges our city faces in this moment, to also have to take on the labor of educating white, mostly male, media about...implicit bias...I don't have time for it," the statement said.