Monday, September 28, 2015

Time to add new voices to tell stories

DuShuan Headd

In the year of 2015, Americans are living in a country that prides itself on its diversity. America is very quick to flaunt how diverse of a country it is in many fashions such as the range of religions allowed, the variety of music that can be found, to what food the country has to offer.

Like any country however, America is one with a majority race followed by minorities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, not until around 2043 will the number of minorities be greater than non-Hispanic whites. What this ultimately tells is that America is expected to keep on becoming more and more diverse, and a diverse America needs a diverse workplace.

Diversity matters, or so people would like to say. It seems as if every workplace talks about diversity but not every workplace takes action. With America becoming more and more diverse, it is an issue to not have diversity, especially in the media.

Bringing a different background and being able to looks at a situation is one of the most undervalued things today that can come from any reporter. What one must understand, is that while you may rationalize with a particular community, unless you are apart of that community, whenever that community is impacted, it doesn't have quite the same feel as to if you are apart of it.

It is why a white male cannot exactly emphasize with the black community over the Trayvon Martin shooting or why Ferguson may seem so intimidating, the connect is simply not there.

Often times when tragedies happen and are race related, it is covered by a white male, with usually a white male's opinion on it. The issue here is that very few stories now-n-days are centered around white males yet they are the ones who generally are in control and control the angle of a story.


For this reason, three-fourths of African-American news consumers and two-thirds of Hispanics have doubts about what mainstream media report about their communities according to a survey by Media Insight Project.

There is an obvious disconnect with minorities and the media. While minorities are watching the news, the numbers from Media Insight Project tell me that they are doing so questionably, meaning that they are often questioning the truth value and/or direction the story is coming from. The trust between the reporter and minority viewer is not there.

That is unacceptable and change must take place. As Wes Lowery said, "Media diversity is not somee type of progressive ideal. It's a journalistic imperative for any outlet devoted to fairness in its coverage."

How can the media honestly say it tried to cover a case to the best of its abilities if only 25% of African-Amercians and only 33% of Hispanics believe that their community is being shed the proper light? The answer is it cannot.

A newsroom should pride itself on being able to connect to a wide range of people and the only way that can be effectively done is if there is diversity in the newsroom so minority communities can relate to the person telling the story.

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