Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Minorities and College Papers: More Minorities Work at College Papers Than at Commercial Dailies, but Racial Tension between Campus Papers and Students Still Exists

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Minorities and College Papers: More Minorities Work at College Papers Than at Commercial Dailies, but Racial Tension between Campus Papers and Students Still Exists

Article excerpt

MORE MINORITIES WORK at college newspapers than at the nation's commercial dailies, but that has not eliminated racial tension between those papers and their campus communities.

Two recently released surveys showed that between 15% and 17% of staffers at university newspapers were minorities.

One study, the Census of Minorities in College Media, looked at newspaper staffs at 94 accredited journalism schools and found slower growth in the percentage of minorities working at college papers than at dailies (3% since 1989 vs. 20%). Unlike the dailies, however, every student paper had at least one minority staffer.

The census report was a joint effort of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University and the Akron, Ohio, Beacon journal. It was conducted for the Minorities Committee of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, with underwriting from the ASNE, Beacon Journal, Knight-Ridder Inc. and Kent State.

The study was coordinated by Barbara Hipsman and Stanley Wearden, associate professors of journalism at Kent State, and John Greenman, assistant to the president and publisher of the Beacon Journal.

The other survey was conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Chronicle staffers Douglas Lederman and Christopher Shea surveyed 111 student newspapers that publish three days a week or more.

Of those newspapers, 68 had no Asian-American editors, 67 had no African-American editors and 77 had no Hispanic editors. More than half had editorial boards that were not representative of the school's population, 24 had editorial boards that were completely white, and all but nine had white editors in chief.

The Chronicle reported that 15% of the campus papers' editors were minorities, compared to about 20% of college students nationwide.

The census report found that staffs at the accredited journalism schools were 17. …

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