Posts tagged with ‘diversity’

I regret being scared. I regret wasting time thinking I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t deserve a seat at the table. You do belong and your voice is worthy. Say it to yourself in the mirror every morning if you have to, but don’t ever forget it.

Jenna Wortham, reporter, New York Times, to Buzzfeed. 39 Pieces Of Advice For Journalists And Writers Of Color.

Buzzfeed asks twenty established writers what advice they’d give to those breaking into the industry.

Here are the questions:

  • What piece of advice would you, as a writer of color, give to burgeoning writers/journalists of color?
  • What do you know now about being a writer of color that you wish you’d known when you first started?
  • Is there anything you did as a writer starting out that you now regret?

Read through for the answers.

Well, Project X may now be called Vox, but the great VC-backed media blitz of 2014 is staffed up and soft-launching, and it looks a lot more like Projects XY. Indeed, it’s impossible not to notice that in the Bitcoin rush to revolutionize journalism, the protagonists are almost exclusively – and increasingly – male and white.

To be sure, the internet has presented journalists with an extraordinary opportunity to remake their own profession. And the rhetoric of the new wave of creativity in journalism is spattered with words that denote transformation. But the new micro-institutions of journalism already bear the hallmarks of the restrictive heritage they abandoned with such glee. At the risk of being the old bat in the back, allow me to quote Faye Dunaway’s character from Network: “Look, all I’m saying is if you’re going to hustle, at least do it right.”

Six of the seven shows analyzed — This Week, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, Meet the Press, State of the Union, and Up — have hosted white men at a significantly higher rate than their 31 percent portion of the population. Melissa Harris-Perry provided the greatest diversity among guests, providing a much higher rate of white women and African-American guests than the other programs; Up also hosted a higher percentage of people from those demographics than CNN or the broadcast programs. Latino, Asian-American, and Middle Eastern guests have been largely absent from the Sunday shows. Native Americans fared even worse, with only two appearances (one on Melissa Harris-Perry and one on Up) out of a total of 2,436 appearances over the nine-month period studied.

White Men Were An Even Larger Proportion Of Solo Interviews. On the broadcast Sunday shows and CNN, white men were most often hosted for one-on-one interviews by a significant margin. 75 percent of Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday solo interview subjects were white men. Once again, only Melissa Harris-Perry demonstrated any reasonable diversity in this measure. Guests who were Latino, Asian-American, or Middle Eastern were hardly present at all. No Native American has received a one-on-one interview this year. Up did not have enough solo interviews in the period studied to be included in the comparison.

Media Matters for America, Once Again, Sunday Morning Talk Shows Are White, Male, And Conservative.

Read through for CNN’s gender problem and the overall ideological tilt toward conservative (read: Republican) guests.

White Men, Everyone Else: Gender and Ethnic Diversity on Cable News

Media Matters spent the month of April reviewing evening guests on cable news. The results, unfortunately, don’t surprise: CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC “overwhelmingly host male and white guests.”

Read through for the details as the watchdog group breaks down the numbers for each network. We learn, for instance, that “Out of 1,677 total guests, CNN had the largest proportion of men — 76 percent — during the month of April;” and “Fox News had the largest proportion of white guests — 83 percent.”

Hat tip to Chris Hayes, whose show is the most diverse in cable evening news. And getting there isn’t very difficult. “We just would look at the board and say, ‘We already have too many white men. We can’t have more,’” Hayes told Ann Friedman at the Columbia Journalism Review back in March. “Really, that was it.”

Images: Diversity On Evening Cable News, via Media Matters. Select to embiggen.

Newsroom Diversity, or Lack Thereof
Mainstream news organizations have long fallen short in reflecting the communities they serve. In an analysis of who’s writing front page stories for major publications, 4thEstate shows that 2012 political coverage is dominated by white reporters.
Via 4thEstate:

The latest in our infographic series shows that over 93% of front page print articles, covering the 2012 Presidential Election, were written by white reporters. The percentage of articles written by Asian American reporters is 4%, by African American reporters is 2.1%, and by Hispanic reporters is 0.9%. This under-representation of minorities reporting on the front page holds true across most media outlets for most ethnic groups. The Dallas Morning News stands out as an exception where 18.8% of their front page stories were written by African Americans. The most striking under-representation of minorities in our data is that of Hispanic journalists, considering the Hispanic population stands at approximately 16.3% of the U.S. population (according to the 2010 Census). At six point one percent (6.1%), The Miami Herald has the highest percentage of front page stories written by Hispanics. The Boston Globe had the highest percentage of front page articles written by Asian Americans at 11.5%.

And if you think demographic balance might find its way onto the opinion pages, think again. Earlier this year, Erika Fry examined opinion page diversity in the Columbia Journalism Review:

Women wrote 20 percent of op-eds in the nation’s leading newspapers—The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal—between September 15 and December 7, 2011, according to a byline survey conducted by Taryn Yaeger of The OpEd Project, an organization that aims to diversify public debate…
…Though harder to track, statistics on racial, ethnic, and class diversity on opinion pages are just as jarring. A similar three-month byline survey, released in April by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), showed one-half of one percent of op-eds in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal were written by Latinos; in The Washington Post, it was 0 percent. Asian Americans authored an average of 2 percent; blacks roughly 5 percent (though that rate was lifted by the Post’s 10 percent).

Image: Newsroom Diversity, by 4thEstate. Select to embiggen.

Newsroom Diversity, or Lack Thereof

Mainstream news organizations have long fallen short in reflecting the communities they serve. In an analysis of who’s writing front page stories for major publications, 4thEstate shows that 2012 political coverage is dominated by white reporters.

Via 4thEstate:

The latest in our infographic series shows that over 93% of front page print articles, covering the 2012 Presidential Election, were written by white reporters. The percentage of articles written by Asian American reporters is 4%, by African American reporters is 2.1%, and by Hispanic reporters is 0.9%. This under-representation of minorities reporting on the front page holds true across most media outlets for most ethnic groups. The Dallas Morning News stands out as an exception where 18.8% of their front page stories were written by African Americans. The most striking under-representation of minorities in our data is that of Hispanic journalists, considering the Hispanic population stands at approximately 16.3% of the U.S. population (according to the 2010 Census). At six point one percent (6.1%), The Miami Herald has the highest percentage of front page stories written by Hispanics. The Boston Globe had the highest percentage of front page articles written by Asian Americans at 11.5%.

And if you think demographic balance might find its way onto the opinion pages, think again. Earlier this year, Erika Fry examined opinion page diversity in the Columbia Journalism Review:

Women wrote 20 percent of op-eds in the nation’s leading newspapers—The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal—between September 15 and December 7, 2011, according to a byline survey conducted by Taryn Yaeger of The OpEd Project, an organization that aims to diversify public debate…

…Though harder to track, statistics on racial, ethnic, and class diversity on opinion pages are just as jarring. A similar three-month byline survey, released in April by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), showed one-half of one percent of op-eds in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal were written by Latinos; in The Washington Post, it was 0 percent. Asian Americans authored an average of 2 percent; blacks roughly 5 percent (though that rate was lifted by the Post’s 10 percent).

Image: Newsroom Diversity, by 4thEstate. Select to embiggen.

Exploring Diversity at NPR →

In an honest look in the mirror, NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos explores its newsroom and audience:

To see if Latino, black and Asian listeners find programming that appeals to them, I broke down NPR audience figures by higher education and income. I discovered that within these categories, the levels of representation of the minority groups and whites are not far apart. Minority staffing in the newsroom and on air, meanwhile, continues to improve. NPR does significantly better than the industry averages in radio, television and newspapers. But then, we expect NPR to do better…

…But I do have a… caveat. To look at race and ethnicity does not mean that I believe NPR should write any goals into stone. Race and ethnicity still matter in America, but less as time goes by. I used to teach immigration policy at Harvard, and that background tells me that the United States is the single most successful example in world history of a multi-racial and multi-ethnic society. Sociologists and market researchers today have identified what some call “a new mainstream” in which the educated and the young identify with each other more than with their ethnic and racial roots, though the roots don’t disappear.

Read through for the details.

Race, Coverage and the Newsroom →

At the Huffington Post, Evan Shapiro writes:

The 2010 Census reported that 63.7 percent of America is white; 12.6 percent is black; 16.3 percent is Hispanic or Latino and 4.8 percent is Asian. Sixty-four percent of America is white, 36 percent is not. However, The Radio Television Digital News Association reports that, as of 2011, 79.5 percent of all TV News jobs are held by white Americans, while 20.5 percent are held by minorities of any kind — an under-representation of minority Americans by a factor of nearly 2. Not great, but not awful either. However, 92.5 percent of all Television General Managers and 96.6 percent of Network TV Affiliate GMs are white, while only 7.5 percent of all TV GMs and 3.4 percent of Local TV Affiliates are another race. That is an under-representation of minority Americans by a factor of 5 on a national scale and a factor of 11 on a local scale. minority representation in the Newspaper business is similarly tilted. According to The American Society of News Editors, only 12.79 percent of all newspaper jobs are held by someone who is not white, with only 11 percent of Supervisor jobs held by non white Americans.

While it is great that black, Hispanic and Asian Americans are getting more jobs as reporters, photographers, camera operators and art directors, it is not the rank and file who determine which stories are covered and what America deems as “newsworthy.” These decisions are made at the Editorial and Director levels, where representation of the “minority” point of view is stunningly far behind that of the population they serve.

As Brian Stelter wrote in the New York Times, it took nearly a month for the killing of Trayvon Martin to become national news; and that only happened after his family — and thousands of online activists — repeatedly demanded attention for his story and secured the release of the 911 recording from the night of his shooting. In fact, as Brooke Gladstone reported on On The Media and Kelly McBride wrote about on Poynter, if not for several black journalists, including Trymaine Lee of the Huffington Post, Ta-Nehisi Coats of the Atlantic, Charles M. Blow of the New York Times, and Reverend Al Sharpton of MSNBC, it is doubtful anyone would know who Trayvon Martin is and was.

Please, PLEASE, don’t get me wrong — I am not saying there is overt or purposeful bias in America’s Newsrooms. I do submit, though, that the stunning under-representation of minorities at the TOP of our national and local news organizations creates an institutional lack of empathy for minority victims of violent crime. How else to explain the blanket coverage given every missing white girl in America, while it takes a month and a movement to get similar attention for the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, within eyeshot of his father’s house?

FJP: Unfortunately, lack of newsroom diversity has been an ugly stain on American journalism for as long was we can remember. 

By A Nearly 2 To 1 Margin, Cable Networks Call On Men Over Women To Comment On Birth Control — ThinkProgress.

By A Nearly 2 To 1 Margin, Cable Networks Call On Men Over Women To Comment On Birth Control — ThinkProgress.

Local News: Journalism's Forgotten Love Child →

George Washington University professor Matthew Hindman authored a report for the FCC’s quadrennial review of broadcast ownership regulations.

His findings, crudely put: No one really goes to local news sources. 

The big picture is that there is little evidence in this data that the Internet has expanded the number of local news outlets. And while the Internet adds only a pittance of new sources of local news, the surprisingly small audience for local news traffic helps explain the financial straits local news organizations now face.

According to the report, average per capita monthly page views is an anemic 11.4 while monthly time on site barely tops nine minutes.

What say you, Patch and your estimated $120 million invested in local news this year?

The report can be downloaded here (PDF). Nikki Usher analyses the findings at Nieman Lab.

The Newsroom Diversity Fail →

Via Maynard Institute:

The American Society of Newspaper Editors began conducting a diversity survey of newspapers in 1978 with the goal of having all newspapers reflect the diversity of the nation by 2025. The latest report shows the number of minorities plunged for the third straight year.

When asked about their diversity numbers, broadcast and online media companies are reluctant, or in some cases, refuse release them.

The National Association of Black Journalists conducts its own annual census of television newsroom managers. The 2010 report found only 13 percent of the managers were people of color.

Journalists of Color Decline for 3rd Year →

Via Maynard Institute:

U.S. “Minority” Population at 46%; in Newsrooms, 12.79%

The number of journalists of color in daily newspaper and online-only  newsrooms declined for the third consecutive year, the American Society of News Editors reported Thursday in disclosing the results of its annual diversity survey…

…The decline in journalists of color contrasts with the news industry’s stated goal of parity with the number of people of color in the general population by 2025, and as demographic changes show the nation heading toward majority-minority status.

How Very White of You →

Newsroom diversity — or the extreme lack of it — isn’t just a problem in traditional media. New media has its issues too.

Richard Prince takes the Daily Beast and BusinessInsider’s the Wire to task in his column at Maynard Institute of Journalism Education.

When the new year began, the Daily Beast chose “The 20 Smartest People of 2010,” and the only African American on the list was rapper Kanye West.

Now the Wire, a website from businessinsider.com, has compiled “the 50 most influential people in media this year.”

The two people of color represented are media mogul Oprah Winfrey and Fred Mwangaguhunga

…Is this the extent of the media influence exerted by people of color? Is this how people of color are perceived in the media world?

Prince asks his readers to help him create a new list. Head there to participate in the conversation.

The BBC’s Phil Coomes is running a week-long series on his Viewfinder blog about changes and challenges facing photojournalism. 
Earlier this week, Michael Kamber of the New York Times offered his thoughts about the profession’s changing models.

When my mentors in 1985 lamented the passing of photojournalism, what they were really marking was the passing of their system, their model. And it was a great model. And the model that we reinvented in the 1980s and 1990s was pretty damn good too. Now it’s my generation’s turn to lament the passing. But once again, what is dead is not photojournalism - what is dead is the particular culture of photojournalism that supported us for the past 30 years.

Today there is a new way, a new system. I meet young photographers constantly: idealistic, excited, naive, creative. They may have missed out on the magic of baryta paper in a tray of Dektol, but they love image-making nonetheless. And as has been said ad-nauseum, they are focusing on new models for raising cash to do projects… 

…[This] developing model is what we’ve got and we have to work with it, there is no other option. What troubles me is that we are becoming ghettoised. As the mainstream press dies a slow and ugly death, we increasingly work for each other - for the cultish community of photo festivals and workshops, awards and grants, boutique print collectors. And this new model will surely exacerbate something I deplore about photojournalism: it is increasingly a community of privileged white people.

The BBC’s Phil Coomes is running a week-long series on his Viewfinder blog about changes and challenges facing photojournalism.

Earlier this week, Michael Kamber of the New York Times offered his thoughts about the profession’s changing models.

When my mentors in 1985 lamented the passing of photojournalism, what they were really marking was the passing of their system, their model. And it was a great model. And the model that we reinvented in the 1980s and 1990s was pretty damn good too. Now it’s my generation’s turn to lament the passing. But once again, what is dead is not photojournalism - what is dead is the particular culture of photojournalism that supported us for the past 30 years.

Today there is a new way, a new system. I meet young photographers constantly: idealistic, excited, naive, creative. They may have missed out on the magic of baryta paper in a tray of Dektol, but they love image-making nonetheless. And as has been said ad-nauseum, they are focusing on new models for raising cash to do projects…

…[This] developing model is what we’ve got and we have to work with it, there is no other option. What troubles me is that we are becoming ghettoised. As the mainstream press dies a slow and ugly death, we increasingly work for each other - for the cultish community of photo festivals and workshops, awards and grants, boutique print collectors. And this new model will surely exacerbate something I deplore about photojournalism: it is increasingly a community of privileged white people.