By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]
On Sept. 10, Congresswoman Val Demings (D- FL) introduced a bipartisan and bicameral resolution, along with Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), in hopes of promoting more diversity in media, ultimately, having a more informed electorate.
“I am glad to join with Representative González-Colón, Senator Rosen, and Senator Rubio to introduce this legislation,” Demings said. “It is invaluable for our children and our democracy to have a cross-section of perspectives that reflect various cultures and voices, in news and entertainment. America is at its best when every American can read, listen, and watch vibrant media that reflects the diversity of our great country.”’
Senator Rubio weighed in on the importance of the resolution, particularly focusing on local media.
“Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of working with local media outlets across the state of Florida,” said Rubio, according to a statement. “These outlets are ingrained in our communities, offering unique and important insight. We must continue to support small, diverse media outlets that are instrumental in preserving local culture, and serve as an invaluable resource for our communities.”
Senator Rosen discussed the need for variety in newsrooms and coverage when considering the impact of diverse media and what Americans receive as news.
“We must make an effort to ensure that our newsrooms and media companies are reflective of America, both in terms of ideas and of media figures. This is critical now, more than ever,” Rosen said. “This resolution engenders these very real sentiments, allowing us to break through barriers and realize that diversity is our strength. I’m proud to join my colleagues in taking steps toward building a more diverse media landscape.”
Congresswoman González-Colón, considered the fact that some racial and ethnic groups are unknown to others because of their lack of presence in the media. “Our nation is comprised of people who represent a plethora of thoughts, heritage and upbringing that is not always represented in the media, making some of these groups invisible to others. The media should be a reflection of the society they serve, which is not homogeneous,” González-Colón said in a statement.
The Puerto Rican Congresswoman emphasized the possibility of cultural exchange when adding further different kinds of people and coverage in the media, and the important impact such variety can have to the fabric of this country.
“Learning about other experiences, listening to different opinions, and getting to know other’s backgrounds strengthens our nation and leads to inclusion. As a Latino woman, I take great pride in being a part of this bipartisan initiative that seeks to eliminate barriers that prevent media diversity,” she said.
Demings introduced the legislation, just a day before the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation kicks off its Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, where many of the conversations will be focused on diversity, the importance of messaging in the press and the dissemination of news before the 2020 election.