Women and Minorities in News Are Decreasing. (Mass Media)

USA TODAY, December 2002 | Go to article overview

Women and Minorities in News Are Decreasing. (Mass Media)


More women and minorities are managing broadcast news operations, but their population in news rooms is shrinking, shows a survey by Robert Papper, professor of telecommunications, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind. Low entry-level wages may be discouraging qualified candidates from entering the field, theorizes Papper, author of the annual Women and Minorities Survey conducted for Radio and Television News Directors Association.

"Until recently, broadcasters were held to the rule that newsrooms had to reflect the population of the local community," he explains. "Stations sought out highly talented women and minorities to fill entry-level positions and meet those ratios. These people were then promoted into middle and upper management."

The survey found women hold 25.9% of television news director jobs, up from 20.2% in 2001. In radio, 22.3% of news directors are women, as compared to 21.9% in 2001. Minorities hold 9.2% of television news director posts, up from eight percent last year.

In radio, 5.1% of news directors are minorities, compared to 4.4% in 2001. Overall, minorities make up 20.6% of the TV news workforce, down from 24.6% last year.

"I think we are going to see the plateau over the next few years and possibly begin to drop. …

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