Short film shines a light on the inequities of being 'Black in the Newsroom'

A first-time director and a former journalist talk about how systemic racism has led to unfairness in pay and coverage


Elizabeth Montgomery and Collette Watson have a common goal: Equity in journalism.

On Facebook, Montgomery, a former reporter at The Arizona Republic, was forthright about her shoddy pay at the Gannett-owned newspaper. She eventually left and now works at Downtown Phoenix, Inc. Watson, a communications strategist and musician, briefly studied journalism before deciding it wasn’t for her. She worked at J. Walter Thompson and is now vice president of cultural strategy at the media reform group Free Press and Free Press Action Fund. 

Watson’s directorial debut, the short film “Black in the Newsroom,” uses Montgomery’s struggles with systemic racism and awful pay at the Republic to showcase the marginalization and desperation of Blacks in America’s newsrooms. 

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