Saturday, December 8, 2007

Big Media Newsroom Racism Historically

The U.S. Establishment’s press still seemed to be integrating its newsrooms at an extremely slow pace as late as the 1990s. As Media Studies Journal Editor Ted Peace noted in an early 1990s essay, titled “Philosophical and Economic Arguments for Media Diversity,” which appeared in Pluralizing Journalism Education:

“At the end of 1990, 8.7 percent of newsroom professionals—reporters, copy editors, desk editors, photographers, graphic artists, and so on—were minorities. The country, however, is more than 24 percent non-white…

“…People of color still are largely excluded from both newsrooms and news content, or are included only as second-class citizens…A variety of scholarly studies of news media performance show that coverage of minorities by those large metropolitan newspapers tends to account for only about 3 percent of their total news coverage. Further, more than half of white journalists and more than 70 percent of minority journalists, responding to a national 1991 study, said that their own newspaper covered minority communities only marginally or poorly.

“From these examples, it is apparent that the news industry, whether intentionally or not, still excludes people from the media mainstream because of their race or cultural perspective. The news industry is not keeping up with demographic change in this country, either in terms of employing people of diverse backgrounds as information-gatherers, or in terms of providing content and coverage of people who are not white…”

(Downtown 11/10/93)

Next: Hillary Clinton’s Wal-Mart Connection Revisited

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