Nieman Reports: Why Newsroom Diversity Works

Published: 19 June 2015

Country: US

Newsroom_DiversityOnly 15 percent of daily newspapers in the US had a person of colour in one of their top three newsroom leadership positions, says the 2014 Newsroom Census conducted by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE). According to a 2014 study by the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, only 25 percent of African-Americans and 33 percent of Hispanics said the news media accurately portrayed their communities.

Gathering and analysing several reports and studies on lack of diversity in the media Nieman Reports published an article suggesting ‘effective strategies for making newsrooms more inclusive’. Why Newsroom Diversity Works proves that there is a need for having more women, ethnic and cultural minorities and others in the newsrooms, in the US and around the world.

The news industry has been talking about diversity for decades, but the talk, many say, often has not been followed by action. “The needles never really seem to move,” says Nikole Hannah-Jones, a reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine.

Stating examples and experiences of several journalists, online magazines and newspapers, as well as different initiatives promoting diversity in the media, the Nieman Reports’ article concludes: “Today, with attention turned to race relations in cities like Ferguson, Baltimore, and Cleveland, the needle on inclusion in mainstream newsrooms seems stubbornly stuck in place”.

“The number of journalists of color has slowly climbed since the Kerner Report’s release, peaking around 2008, but that hasn’t necessarily translated into more equitable coverage”, says Nieman Reports.

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