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Golden newspaper apologizes for its coverage of race in the past

Newspaper in Golden issues apology for coverage on Black community.
Newspaper in Golden issues apology for coverage on Black community. 02:00

The front page of the current edition of the Golden Transcript features a story about itself. The headline reads, "For the record: Examining how the Transcript contributed to systemic racism."

It's accompanied by pictures and headlines of its coverage of the Black Panther movement in the 1960s and 70s.

Jameka Lewis is a librarian and researcher whose work helped lead to the story. She told CBS News Colorado the newspaper, "caused harm for Black folks wanting to live in Golden, Black folks living in Golden, Black folks in this area, and that harm is not erased."


The newspaper also features a column by Linda Shapley, the publisher of Colorado Community Media, which owns the Transcript and two dozen other papers. She says she consulted Black community groups.

"They were the ones who said we need news organizations to acknowledge the harm that has been done to our community," Shapley said.

One particular case in point was the Golden Transcript's coverage of the Black Panther Party, amounting to 171 articles from 1969 to 1971.

Lewis said they were one sided: "When you run only the negative, not positive, they didn't talk about the free breakfast program for children, they didn't talk about how the raise money for people to get housing."

Shapley says she wants to earn the trust of Black readers.

"One of the things that is really important to me is that the Black community here feels that we are doing all we can so that they can trust what we are reporting to hear their issues and report on them fairly," she said.

She also wants to improve diversity in their newsroom in hopes that their coverage in the future will be better than it has on some racial issues decades in the past.

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