The nation came together recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and to commemorate one of the most prolific, impactful pieces of oratory prose of all time, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The events of August 28, 1963 helped present to the world a clear vision of social and economic equality. They helped set the bar for what America could be. Decades later, efforts to achieve the dream continue as courtroom and political battles rage on across the country over critical issues like voting rights, marriage equality, education, immigration reform and much, much more. CBS’s local and national coverage of these issues has been and continues to be vital to keeping the debate honest and to keeping our country informed.
As a lawyer and journalist, I believe what we do here at CBS in news is as noble as it gets. We inform the world, we shed light on the issues, people and circumstances that matter. A look back at CBS News’ coverage from 50 years ago (during the height of the civil rights movement) underscores the impact. Newsreels showing the harsh reality of hoses and dogs being turned on peaceful protesters highlighted the brutality of segregation and racism. Those reels helped changed the heart of many Americans and ultimately created laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Behind the scenes, the struggle for civil rights also helped change our newsrooms. Decades ago, few if any journalists of color covered the movement for mainstream media. Today, while there is still a lot of work to be done, no one can deny there have been many steps toward adding diverse voices and coverage to what we do.
As a Community Affairs Reporter for KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia, I have the privilege of telling true stories about how policies and laws impact real people. I get to ask questions, test stereotypes and be a witness for our listeners. We have some of the best journalists anywhere standing guard, challenging authority and informing the public at one of the most critical times in our nation’s history. But diversity in the newsroom and diversity of news coverage is a still a key component to what we do. While no news room is perfect, as one of newest members of the KYW news team, I am proud to see that progress is being made and I will continue to push for more.
I believe that KYW Newsradio’s decision to maintain a beat like Community Affairs is commendable and helps provide coverage of both underserved communities and tough issues. I also believe it keeps the station moving in the right direction at time when news is necessary and vital to decision making on all levels of government. It’s what makes our station stand out and builds trust among our listeners. I feel honored to be a part of that legacy as we move closer to the dream.
Cherri Gregg joined KYW Newsradio in 2010 after practicing law for several years. She is currently the Community Affairs Reporter. In 2013, she was named among the NAACP’s most influential Black women in the Philadelphia area. Cherri is a member of the Georgia and Pennsylvania bar, as well as the National Association of Black Journalists.