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The Bowl Championship Series is being accused by members of the black press of discriminating against them and denying them media credentials. A letter from Chico C. Norwood, Managing Editor of the Hub City News in Los Angeles, wrote a letter expressing concern about the matter:
December 27, 2011
Mr. Bill Hancock
Bowl Championship Series
Dear Mr. Hancock:
My name is Ms. Chico C. Norwood and I am the managing editor/sports editor of the Hub City News, a local African American newspaper serving theLos Angelesarea community.
I am writing this letter to lodge an official complaint and express my views on the way the BCS is and has treated the African American press, especially as it relates to media credentials for college football bowl games, specifically the Rose Bowl Game.
For the past two to three years, the African American press has been denied media credentials to the Rose Bowl by Gina Chappin, the official media director for the Rose Bowl. Prior to Ms. Chappin taking control of the medial credential distribution, members of the African American press (the Los Angeles Sentinel, California Crusader, Black Voices News, L.A. Watts Times, etc) were issued media credentials to the Rose Bowl. Ms. Chappin says she is only following the BCS guidelines.
Well, Mr. Hancock it appears that the BCS guidelines were specifically designed to exclude the African American media. The majority of the African American newspapers across theUnited Statesare weekly publications with circulations of 100,000 or less. With the exception, possibly, of Jet, Ebony and Black Enterprise magazines, there is no way African American newspapers can qualify for press credentials to BCS Bowl games. I find the policy to be racist and exclusionary and YES I WILL USE THE RACE CARD because truth is truth. Or maybe it was just an oversight because in your eyes and the eyes of your staff, the African America media is either nonexistent or unimportant. However, I find it interesting that the African American press is not unimportant when it comes to sending out your press releases, which I receive on a regular basis and have printed in the pages of my sports column and on the sports page.
The majority of African American newspapers in this country have been around longer than most of the Online-Internet outlets and bloggers; however, the BCS places more importance on these types of organizations.
Considering the fact that the BCS and college football survive on the backs of the African American athlete, the BCS’s denial of media credentials to African American publications is a direct insult and slap in the face of the African American community as a whole.
Mr. Hancock, the 200 plus African American weeklies in this country provide a valuable service to the African American community, just as the Asian, Jewish, etc., weeklies. Whether you are aware of it or not, African Americans depend on the African American press for information, especially as it relates to our community since the mainstream media has a way of slanting the news when it pertains to African Americans.
As far as sports is concerned, the mainstream media has a tendency to regurgitate itself constantly focusing on the “stars” or “superstars” while the African American media highlights not only stars but the hometown heroes who might not attract the attention of the mainstream media.
I ask that you review this unfair policy of the BCS. I would also ask that you override Ms. Chappin’s decisions and the decisions of other BCS Bowl game media directors to deny the African American weeklies media credentials for the BCS Bowl games. I would also ask that the BCS appoint a consultant who is familiar with the African American press to help to change the BCS policy.
If you would like to contact me, I can be reached at 213-840-2802 or you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. Please see attached letter sent to Gina Chappin by Mr. Brad Pye Jr.
CC: Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH