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There’s some new racial intrigue in the unlikeliest of places: the awarding of D.C. government advertising contracts.
The controversy centers around a contract to advertise unclaimed property that’s been awarded to the Washington Times. Washington Informer publisher Denise Rolark Barnes claims that her paper was denied a chance at the contract by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer because her paper’s coverage centers on Washington’s black residents. Barnes has filed a protest against the contract award, the Washington Business Journal reports.
The conflict hinges on whether the Informer counts as a “newspaper of general circulation,” which is what the city’s initial contract solicitation called required. In her complaint, Barnes quotes a city contracting official saying that the Informer‘s editorial focus of black Washingtonians means it isn’t a “newspaper of general circulation.”
Barnes counters in her complaint that the Informer can be read by any Washingtonian. The Informer has received city ad awards in the past, the Business Journal reports.
Neither Rolark Barnes nor the Office of the Chief Financial Officer were immediately available for a comment.