In this Still Talking, we asked Karys Belger, a reporter for WGRZ – Channel 2, Buffalo:
“Does the fact that the coronavirus affects black and Latino people in the U.S. at higher rates than white people impact the way you cover the crisis locally?
Belger was inspired to be a journalist from a young age by her parents, who always watched the news with her. While attending Spelman College, Belger completed internships and worked for student publications, and from there, she attended Northwestern University, where she was on the journalistic front line in Washington, D.C. after the 2016 election.
Belger joined the WGRZ team in October of 2018, and currently helps with the morning show, the dayside shift, and evening coverage.
When reporters began covering stories revolving around COVID-19, Belger was a pioneer in her newsroom for suggesting they research how the pandemic would affect people of color who have less access to medical care.
Belger shared with her news team: “We should remember that people of color are dealing with disproportionate effects of COVID and racism so let’s keep that in mind.”
Belger also draws from her own experiences. As someone with sickle cell disease which mainly impacts people of color, she knows what it’s like to have a pre-existing condition – and how people with those conditions are more susceptible to the coronavirus.
Belger continued covering this issue as much as possible, and spoke with doctors to provide updated information to viewers. She wanted to tell her viewers about available options and doctor recommendations.
“I wanted people in communities of color to be armed with as much information as possible to come out on the other side of this, whenever that may be.”
View other videos in the Still Talking series