COLUMN: Being Black at The News

Rob Le Cates

Cam’ron Hardy is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at 581-2912 or [email protected].

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

I have been working at The News for about a year, and my experience has not been ideal.

When I first stepped into the Daily Eastern News Newsroom, I looked forward to getting involved and working on my major, journalism, outside of the classes that I was already required to take.

I was very quiet my first semester working at The News. My coworkers knew nothing about me, and I still tried to keep it that way a little. As relationships began to form, I naturally tend to open myself a little, but I still try to keep it at a minimum.

I gained a promotion my second semester working at The News, so that required me to talk to the people I work with more.  With this, unfortunately, I have been in some situations where racist remarks have been stated. That caused me to feel uncomfortable or irate.

But in the moment, I knew how to respond and not fit within the stereotype and react the way that was expected of someone that looks like me or where I come from.

There are other situations that, I would like to think have nothing to do with race, but still make me feel the same way.

Unfortunately, having situations like these are somewhat expected in the field of journalism and covering real world events, but I do what I can.

With that said, it is not terrible working at The News.

I look at some of my coworkers as friends that I feel comfortable around and hope to stay in contact with after graduation. They have offered me their ears to just express my frustrations with situations or anything that I feel.

I am currently the only Black man that works for The News. I have never been one to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome when I am the only one that looks the way I do. It allows me to know that I am doing something right and not being put inside a box.

I hope that my hard work and that the articles that I publish inspire people that look like me. I hope they read, listen and think that they could do what I do as well and that Black people are welcomed in this field, despite what they may think.

I hope that my presence working at The News will allow other Black men or women to want to come and work in the journalism field.

I understand that being the only Black person in a room can cause some worry. I hope my presence can be seen as a safety to someone, and that if someone sees me, they feel some sort of comfort or unity.

Even with inappropriate situations happening, I have not lost my passion for journalism. Ever since I can remember, I have found writing to be the best way for me to express myself.

I love reporting, writing movie reviews, and recording my podcast (Two Dudes Talk Movies on Spotify and Apple Podcast *wink*). I work hard despite conflicts, but you cannot stop that. You cannot fathom my love.

I have two more years in college to work on my degree in journalism. In that time, hopefully there’s some sort of change because it only ruins the experience for the next future journalist, and the world needs journalists.

Ultimately, it is not even about journalism, it is just about being a good person, but that is a column for another day.


Cam’ron Hardy is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.