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The Voices Behind the Clash at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh media lost the voices of several African-American journalists during one of the most critical moments for race in U.S. history. Here are their stories.
Alexis Johnson was barred from reporting on Black Lives Matter protests after a tweet that editors at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said was biased.
Alexis Johnson was barred from reporting on Black Lives Matter protests after a tweet that editors at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said was biased.Shantale Davis

When Alexis Johnson, an African-American journalist based in Pittsburgh, was barred from reporting on the Black Lives Matter protests in her hometown by her employer, it created a whole new uprising. She was told by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that a tweet she sent comparing damages from protests to damages from a Kenny Chesney concert evinced bias that would compromise her reporting. More than 100 of her Post-Gazette co-workers disagreed and tweeted #IStandWithAlexis, including Michael Santiago, a Dominican photojournalist with the paper who usually covers protests. For that, he and the other reporters who pledged support for Johnson were also forbidden from covering anything protest-related.

Michael Fuoco, president of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, says her tweet was “benign” and “innocuous” and has rallied the Guild to Johnson’s defense. This week, the Guild called on advertisers to “exert pressure” on the Post-Gazette to show their disapproval. And so far, it seems to be working: