Tuesday, April 10, 2007

WKRN anchor Maddela laments racism on Web

Cites online comments and chat boards

The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle reports here that WKRN anchor Christine Maddela, speaking to a group of students at Austin Peay State University for Diversity Day, pointed to modern examples of racism in Middle Tennessee's online media:

"Maddela read to the audience several racial comments one would think were written during the Jim Crow era or in Adolph Hitler's diary."

"Rather, she found them on Internet chat sites and newspaper chat forums, including this one from the Tennessean's StoryChat: 'Who the hell wants diversity? That's why we move to Williamson County in the first place. You want that crap, move to Antioch.'"

"'I wish I could say racism doesn't exist anymore,' said Maddela, Nashville's first Hispanic TV news anchor. 'I wish I could say that children live in that nation where they are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.'"

Maddela had previously posted a list of problematic comments here on the WKRN web site TennesseeAhora.com

Even beyond discussions of Hispanic and immigrant issues, the uncivil tone of online speech has been getting attention lately, including from the New York Times tech writer David Pogue here, and more recently in the context of a proposed blogger code of conduct (as reported here by the BBC).

Read the full Leaf-Chronicle story about Diversity Day at Austin Peay here

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