Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Diversity in the Newsroom is a Journalistic Imperative

Jacob Solether

Problems of Diversity in the Newsroom

Newsrooms all over the country are not representing minority communities fairly. When a newsroom isn't comprised of women and people of color, millions of people's stories and voices go untold and unheard. The media also creates a false reflection of a community when a newsroom doesn't consist of diverse groups. This is a huge issue and it's important for the media to fix because it only perpetuates more problems. Though this is still a problem today, diversity in the newsroom has grown in recent years. According to a study done by the American Society of News Editors, people of color encompass about 17 percent of newsroom staffs, which is a slight increase since 2002 when it was around 12 percent. In the end, newsrooms need to be held accountable for hiring more diverse news staffs.

Misrepresentation of African-Americans in the Media

Ever notice how the media poorly represents African-Americans in the news? The media must reflect the communities which they're serving and not just from those within the newsroom. It seems as if working-class African-Americans don't exist in the world because the news today only shows the glamorous lives of NBA and movie celebrities or rap icons who make millions of dollars and own gold chains and mansions with 10-car garages.

The media also seems to be in love with showing negative images of black males who've been gunned down by police. As well as referring to them as "criminals" and not "victims." A study done by the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found only 25 percent of African-Americans said the news media accurately portrayed their communities.

The media can do many things to fix this issue, and it is up to publications across the country to properly and fairly represent every community. One simple way to help is to expand the news staffs to be more diverse. This would create a more accurate representation of those communities in which they derive from.

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