I just saw this development about the editor of Golfweek being let go after the magazine featured the image of a noose on its cover to illustrate its story about the Tiger Wood/Golf Channel controversy. My first thought was, Here goes the political correctness again. And as you read this report on the situation, it becomes clear that the magazine only acted in an attempt to pacify its consumers, advertisers, and distributors (and probably to head off Al Sharpton’s inevitable attacks).
As a journalist, I can understand the editor’s desire to present a provocative, attention-grabbing cover that communicates the subject matter. Would I have gone with a noose? Probably not. Still, did this guy really need to lose his job over it? That’s up for debate. However, I found one of the best comments about the situation over at the reader forum area of the Chicago Tribune. A reader named Richard wrote:
This really points out the fact of how much we need diversity in the meeting rooms when these major decisions are being made. And not just having someone in the meeting room as a token or being muzzled, but allowing that person of color to voice his/her opinion without reprisal.
I’m sure it was not the Editor’s intentions to negatively inflame this story, but without having the inherent feeling and sensitivity, of how emotional a “noose” is from a historical perspective for African Americans, he could not make the right and best decision, that is, “not” to illustrate a noose on the cover of a major magazine.
All in all, boardrooms, meeting rooms, workplaces must aim for diversity in the higher halls of management, so that these type of mistakes, that are becoming all too common, will not happen.
While I don’t think having more diversity on a staff absolutely guarantees things like this won’t happen (I’ve missed my share of potentially offensive stuff as I’ve edited magazines), I do think Richard makes an important point.