Are the newsroom diverse enough?
The goal of every newsroom is to present its viewers with daily stories that represents or interests their community. Anything ranging from community events, to local crimes, or covering the president’s speech. In order for a newsroom to successfully represent a diverse community, the newsroom needs to be diverse itself.
About nine out of 10 newsroom professionals in America are predominantly white and many of whom are white males. Leaving one-tenth of the newsroom to be people of color. With the population of minority at 31 percent of U.S. population and growing, the newsroom is in need of employees from different cultural backgrounds to help represents its community.
Having a diverse staff will help decrease the chances of a reporter or editor to share the same interest and thinking. Without repeating common ideas and interests, it allows editors and reporters to target different audiences, who are able to generate a variety of stories. Even though it would be in the best interest of newsrooms to hire a wider variety of staff, many newsrooms still cannot fully triangulate stories that occur in their community due to having staff members from a limited perspective.
According to a 2003 diversity survey, the majority of American newspapers are far away from having their staffs reflect its local communities. In addition, 40 percent of all American papers are lacking employees from a different race.
“The news media and the nation are moving in two different directions,” said Dori Maynard. “News media is getting whiter as the country is getting browner.”
Diversity does not only focus on race or gender, but variety of factors, such as age, wealth and more. With a diverse newsroom representing the community they cover it enables different interests and ideas that may lead to more variety of stories.
This youtube clip explains the benefits of having a diverse newsroom.
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-Tou Za Xiong