Shrinking Diversity in Newsrooms

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The number of African-American journalists in newsrooms is shrinking. Bob Butler, vice president for broadcast at the National Association Black Journalists, and Dori Maynard, president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, discuss what it means for the news when editors, reporters and managers don't reflect American diversity.


Bob Butler - NABJ and Dori Maynard

Comments [18]


Such as? Just kidding.

Aug. 11 2011 09:17 AM
Shoniqua from Harlem

OMG... please. What a waste of time I'll never get back. WE HAVE REAL PROBLEMS.

Aug. 11 2011 01:46 AM

manish ramesh -- i assume you know that many asians and south asians working as physicians in the us either are the products of well off parents who fled the 3rd world -- or who were trained in Indian med schools, then hired by hospitals looking for cheap help?

if i were you i'd take a deep breath, thank your good luck, then say a prayer for the hundreds millions of poverty stricken indians who have no health care because their doctors emigrated, before looking down your nose at american blacks whose ancestors didn't show up at JFK on an international flight with a bag of gold. And if you're a physician I suggest you lose the stereotypical attitude and work on your empathy STAT .

Aug. 10 2011 09:27 PM

journalism pays less than life costs (esp for those over 35, the pros). i don't know one journalist without a trust fund and i know a lot of them. it's a rich person's game.

Aug. 10 2011 09:17 PM

Many of the comments that people are leaving reinforce my previous comment. Victim blaming, like claiming that the minorities are less than willing (aka too lazy or have backward priorities) to pursue professional careers or educations from top colleges, is one of the main pillars of the colorblind argument. There is never a recognition of the structural racism, as well as structural sexism and class systems, that have always been and still are an inescapable part of our society.

Aug. 10 2011 12:11 PM
The Truth from Becky

RAMESH, I guess conversely you can ask why are there not that many East Indian astronauts or police officers? Not something the community chooses to pursue? Your point you are eluding to, is not applicable or fair.

Aug. 10 2011 12:08 PM
Manish Ramesh from NYC

I work in Medicine and Science and ethnic make up of the physicians and scientists african americans in particular are not represented proportionally. In these feilds you will find a disproportionately large number of asians and south asians and a disproportionately small number of other minorities especially African Americans.

Is the problem one of education and occupations the community chooses to pursue or are their droves of unemployed journalists of color?

Aug. 10 2011 12:01 PM
The Truth from Becky

Ditto Brian from H

Aug. 10 2011 11:57 AM
R from Manhattan

I need to clarify -
I meant that the problem starts with young kids of color - and all poor kids in this country- not getting the opportunities and the education needed to be great at what they want to do.

Aug. 10 2011 11:53 AM
Brian from Hoboken

Does race matter to me? Well, I have no idea what race the host of the show is today, but I don't care. I am still listening and not judging her honesty, veracity, or credibility based on a presumption about her race.

Aug. 10 2011 11:51 AM

Of course journalistic diversity is important. Thinking that the promotion of racial and ethnic diversity, no matter the arena, is divisive reveals the "colorblind" mentality that is so pervasive today.

Aug. 10 2011 11:49 AM

The decliing number of people of color in journalism may very well be mirroring the talent pool. Can anyone be real about this? You're making it sound as if there is some conspiracy behind this. Please remember this is America. If you want to be noticed, just do your job right.

Aug. 10 2011 11:48 AM
R from Manhattan

What we need is really GOOD journalists. I don't care what color or sex they are.

Putting a person's color as the first priority for hiring someone isn't going to help the fact that we have a dearth of good ones.

I really do NOT believe that brilliant journalists are being turned down because of color. Could it possibly be that the problem's root starts way before a person gets to the job ready status?

Aug. 10 2011 11:46 AM
William from Manhattan

The comparison of the National Association Black Journalists and Unity with The New York Times Company puzzles me, as does the stark emphasis on the NABJ's "business model." The New York Times Company is a publicly traded for-profit and yes, does make decisions based on business considerations. And pays taxes as such. I believe the NABJ is a not-for-profit, yes? To present the decisions of the NABJ's decisions as primarily business-driven would seem to argue against the association's not-for-profit, mission foundation?

Aug. 10 2011 11:46 AM
Kris B. from Bensonhurst

I want to see more obvious transgender journalists in news. The New York Times recently ran an article on transgender talent in Hollywood-- why not on the news outlets.

Aug. 10 2011 11:40 AM
John from NYC

Well, once again ---

The shrinking number of minorities in the news room -- what does it say about the media!!!!!!!!!


Aug. 10 2011 11:37 AM
Fuva from Harlemworld

The existence of these problems at these "liberal bastions" is evidence of how widespread these problems are. It is an effect of the historical and growing economic inequality that has never been given proper treatment.

Aug. 10 2011 11:23 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

I agree.

But, can we take a moment to note that the "newsrooms" we are really talking about are the vaunted progressive castles of the liberal mainstream media?

How many minorities are there even at the preaching, pretentious, pompous pulpits of progressive parity like MSNBC?? Do as I say, not as I do.

It's as head scratching as the stories about the lack of tenured female professors at our universities....the supposed champions of diversity.

Aug. 10 2011 11:11 AM

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