Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Divide in Journalism

Lindsay Lowy

Although there has been improvement with diversity in the media, the problem is still present. I can discuss all the negatives that this issue has brought but, I believe talking about solutions will be much more beneficial.

A Columbia Journalism Review article focused on topics newsrooms can begin to implicate. Here are 5 ideas to foster as a journalism student so this problem can dissolve itself.

1. Topics in Writing

If you are writing an article, it's important to take a step back and question who your audience is. As a journalist, it's crucial to reach as many readers as possible. In order to do so, whatever you're writing about must catch the interest of all groups of people. 

The best way to check if your article will call for a diverse audience is to simply ask. Before turning your work in have people from different backgrounds and races read it and give feedback. Each individual will have an insightful new perspective that'll help you gage the potential success of the article or identify what voices you've missed.

2. Diversity in Interviews

When covering controversial topics it's crucial to make sure every point of view is covered. Before beginning the interview process, make a list of all the point of views you are interested in covering. From there, identify some places where you might find people with insight to these communities.

3. Listen and Learn

This might seem like it's common sense but, it's important to step outside your comfort zone with this one. 

An American Press Institute article outlines several programs and organizations to make yourself aware of. By listening to what these members have to say and being able to empathize with them will broaden any journalist's point of view and make them more successful.

4. Be One Step Ahead

It's crucial to take a step back and criticize your work from different stand points. 

For example, a Dove Soap Facebook advertisement received harsh feedback after viewers thought it implied that the model used was washing herself to become white.

Dove Facebook Ad
Source: Inside Edition

5. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

In order to be a successful journalist one must push the boundaries. Don't be afraid to cover topics that don't pertain to you. If you feel uncomfortable covering something it probably means it needs to be heard.

Research topics and find stories that people from all races and backgrounds want to know about. By doing this, you'll not only expand your viewership but, also will become more credible.


As a journalism student, it's important to develop these habits early to not only find success as a journalist but, promote diversity in journalism. 

It was our duty to start the conversation, and now it's time to end the problem. A lack of diversity in media is unacceptable. As the next generation of journalists, it's important to tackle this issue so we can focus on bettering ourselves and the world we write about.

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