A black Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter has been removed by editors from covering Black Lives Matter protests over a May 31 tweet that the newspaper claimed showed her “bias.” The reporter, Alexis Johnson, had shared images of the mess Kenny Chesney fans leave after tailgating before his annual concert, jokingly comparing it to those decrying the looting amid current protests. Johnson’s supervisors told her that her tweet showed bias and therefore she could no longer cover the Black Lives Matter protests.
Members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh met with Post-Gazette editors in an effort to have Johnson reinstated to no avail. Guild President and Post-Gazette reporter Mike Fuoco noted that the newspaper does not have a social-media policy, and has written a letter in support of Johnson’s reinstatement.
“The fact that the company thinks her tweeting disqualifies her is disingenuous,” Fuoco told Pittsburgh City Paper. “She has more understanding about it being a Black woman than other white reporters and photographers.”