Sunday, September 29, 2013

Diversity: Lost Cause or Opportunity Creator?

Cody Linn

In the United States, we have referred to ourselves as a “melting pot,” a mix of races and ethnicities making up a nation, since the major influx of immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the world of today’s news, this ideal is not being seen as the newsroom is predominately white and has some form of higher education.  

The need for diversity in the newsroom is more than just a right or wrong issue. Without diversity, you do not get the different views to draw more than one particular audience. A middle-class, well-educated person will have a drastically different view than someone would that comes from a poor neighborhood and had to work to get where they got to.

One issue that gets involved in the education of tomorrow’s journalist, assuming that landing a job requires a degree or some experience, is the money factor. Some journalism degrees, such as Ohio University’s journalism degree, require you to have an internship in order to graduate. The problem is most internships are unpaid. For a not-so-well-off student, this could be very difficult to pull off.  Unless you live in the area of the internship and have the ability to easily compute from your house, the expenses could be costly. Some of the expenses would include housing, food and the ability to commute, whether it is by car, train or bus. Even if your college does not require you to have an internship to graduate, odds are your job will require you to have experience, which is usually in the form of an internship. This article talks about how most people in the newsroom are white and more than likely have a degree. It also discusses the lack of different views in the newsroom.

This can be financially crippling for students, especially those of minorities. As of 2007, over 60 percent of non-white children come from low-income families. Add internship expenses on top of student loans and families think, "Is it really worth it?"

There is Hope
Despite the lack of diversity of people in the newsroom, the way you can access different forms of media is growing thanks to the Internet. With the Internet, you are able to search for anything you want by simply going to Google. There many possibilities and different forms of media with the Internet, and they are trying to cater to a niche. One of these publications is the Asian American Times. It was the first bilingual publication in Arizona, catering to the Asian-American community.


Although diversity, both monetary and racially, in the newsroom is becoming an issue despite minority population growth, there are still major possibilities to disseminate different views across the Internet and in the news. With the growth of niche blogs and publications, the possibility of minority journalists being involved might give them even bigger and better possibilities. They would get to report on issues that they feel are important and give differing views than the major news corporations.

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