Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Journalists of Color Work toward Increasing Newsroom Diversity

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Journalists of Color Work toward Increasing Newsroom Diversity

Article excerpt

ARLINGTON, VA.

UNITY: Journalists of Color is challenging each of the 743 members of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE)--some 265 of whom gathered in April for ASNE's annual conference--to take bold action in diversfying their newsrooms.

In its annual newspaper newsroom survey, ASNE announced a modest increase in the number of journalists of color in 2005. The newest figures show 7,267, or 13.4 percent, working in newsrooms, compared to 7,016, or 12.9 percent, in 2004. Similarly, the percentage of journalists of color in supervisory positions in newspaper newsrooms continues to hover around 10 percent.

The numbers show that some of the gain in the percentage of minority journalists is due to the downsizing of the industry, a sign that retention of journalists must be a higher priority for all newspapers. Retention is of particular concern when it comes to Black journalists, who over the past five years have only increased their presence in newsrooms by 34.

Taken together, these dismal numbers show that aggressive steps must be taken if the industry hopes to see its newsroom work force mirror the general U.S. population, theoretically ensuring that all communities across the country are covered equally, fairly and accurately. …

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