The editor of the Kansas City Star apologized on Monday on behalf of the American daily for decades of racist and discriminatory reporting on the black minority.
The police murder of Black George Floyd in May, which sparked protests in the United States, had forced the newspaper to grapple with its historical coverage, editor-in-chief Mike Fannin told CNN.
“We never scrutinized ourselves to better understand how the star covered the black community for years,” he said.
Fannin published a lengthy editorial on Sunday calling the story of the influential Midwestern newspaper “the story of a powerful local company that did something wrong”.
The excuse from the publication, in which the legendary American author Ernest Hemingway once served as a junior reporter, comes from how the US reckons with its history of slavery, segregation and systemic racism after the mass protests.
“It has been one of the most influential forces in shaping Kansas City and the region for 140 years,” he wrote.
“Yet for much of its early history – through sins of both commission and omission – it has disenfranchised, ignored, and despised generations of Black Kansas citizens.”
The newspaper, whose readership is largely white, published a series of inquiries on Sunday that showed its coverage had for years ignored the area’s black community except when its members were accused of criminal activities.
In one example, it took African American jazz legend Charlie Parker to die in 1955 before the paper actually wrote about one of the city’s most famous native sons.
But he was only allowed four paragraphs on the obituary pages that had misspelled his name – “Charley” – and incorrectly indicated his age.
In 1977, the star also focused on flood damage to white businesses rather than the 25 dead in the disaster, including eight African Americans.
That discrimination has resulted in “a lack of trust and credibility in this community and that’s heartbreaking,” Fannin told CNN.
“We are certainly not perfect now … we still have a lot to do, at least that’s a start,” he said.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)