Appropriateness of "ethnic" news reporters

I was watching the Chicago marathon on TV on Sunday (next year I intend to run it!) The marathon runs thru several of Chicago’s neighborhoods, many of which have dominant ethnic cultures. The CBS affiliate had reporters at various points throughout the route. They seemed to have intentionally assigned reporters based on their ethnicity. So when the race went thru Chinatown, they had an Asian reporter. I also recall a hispanic reporter in Pilsen, a guy with an Italian name in Little Italy, and a black guy on the south side.

I thought there were court decisions prohibiting the practice of assigning workers based on their ethnicity/race and the ethnic/racial makeup of their territories. The practice during this coverage struck me as a little odd. Somewhat insultingly patronizing. Am I to assume a certain reporter is better qualified to stand at mile 22 simply because she has an Asian sounding last name and an Asian appearance?

Any thoughts?

Am I to assume anything about the sexual orientation of the guy who reported from Boys’ Town?