The New York Times has shifted Tanzina Vega — its only reporter on the race/ethnicity beat — to the Metro desk to cover the Bronx’s courtrooms. The change effectively wipes out the race beat, which is a curious move by the Times.
In a memo, Wendell Jamieson and Dean Chang, the Times’ metro editor and deputy metro editor, respectively, attempted to justify the shift.
“As we’ve told many a Foreign correspondent, you don’t need to travel abroad to find adventure: The Metro desk can accommodate you right here in New York. So too is it true that all the issues of justice, race and inequality play out in the five boroughs just as they do elsewhere, perhaps even more so. And nowhere are they more evident, and in technicolor, than in our teeming courtrooms.”
Vega has served as the Times’ race/ethnicity reporter since 2013. The way last year went, it seems we need a reporter on the race beat now more than ever. For some reason, the Times disagrees.