It is clear that in the media, we do not have as much diversity representing the country in front of the camera as we do representing the country. There have been countless stories out there where the wrong reporter has covered a certain story. But we all know that, so why does this keep happening? Why is it that during all the reporting of Ferguson we had white reporters there?
|A protester speaks to a white reporter (Cited From: salon.com / Credited to Fox News)|
Is it a bad idea to bring a white reporter to a story that is about a young black male who was shot by a white police officer? These are questions that wouldn't be necessary if we were to have more diversity in the newsroom.
The Nieman Reports wrote an article on "Why Newsroom Diversity Works," and in it, they cited a quote from the Kerner Report stating "It would be a contribution of inestimable importance to race relations in the United States simply to treat ordinary news about Negroes as news of other groups is now treated” (niemanreports.org ) The report goes on showing that bringing in diversity to the newsroom would bring diversity into the country. We already know that we have diversity, but have we been able to bring all of the diversities together? Have we been able to combine each other's differences and become one? Can we report our cultural differences and still understand our similarities?
We need to bring in more diversity in the newsroom to understand what exactly our cultural differences are, but be able to still understand we are all Americans. But according to an article from Nieman Reports, we need to engage to make a difference.
In this article, the author states "No one ever has any conversation about, “Can any white male reporter cover police fairly?” No one ever asks that question. Yet, any time a black reporter has the audacity to write about issues of race, all of a sudden it is followed by a deeply, intensely personal conversation publicly about who they are: Are they black enough? Are they not really black at all? Can they separate their own personal background from the topics they cover?" (niemanreports.org).
It is clear that there is a line that we as a country need to cross. Are there questions that may arise once we start hiring more diverse reporters? Maybe, but it is still the right path to take when talking about newsrooms and hiring. The more diverse newsrooms we have, the more diverse topics the news can talk about and the closer we can get as a country. Once we have more stories to understand what each others' lives are like, we will be able to be more understanding on our differences and focus on the similarities. Personally, I would say that if we want to create more understanding of diversity and acceptance, we need to create diversity in the newsroom first. The newsroom can lead the country into an understand of one another.