Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
When 9.4 million followers isn’t enough: NBC News will shut down the Breaking News app on Dec. 31
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
July 9, 2013, 12:16 p.m.
LINK: www.theatlantic.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   July 9, 2013

Riva Gold takes a look at recent findings on minority employment in newsrooms for The Atlantic today, and finds that cost-saving measures over the past few years have had the unintended consequence of retarding progress towards greater diversity in journalism.

Gold writes that failing to accurately represent the racial make up of the U.S. will preclude leading news organizations from fully and accurately telling the stories of non-whites in America, who now make up 37 percent of the population.

One piece of this puzzle is layoff policies and union contracts that often rewarded seniority and pushed the most recent hires to leave first. Many journalists of color have the least protected jobs because they’re the least senior employees, says Doris Truong, a Washington Post editor and acting president of Unity, an umbrella group of minority journalist organizations.

At the same time, minorities were disproportionately likely to take buyouts offered as incentives to trim newspaper payrolls, notes Keith Woods, vice president for diversity in news and operations at NPR and former dean of faculty at the Poynter Institute. “When our industry looks as it has over the last 10 years, like it might not survive, people leave — and the most vulnerable people are the ones most inclined to get out because they’ve got families to support, bills to pay,” he says.

Gold says journalists need to make the case for diversity as not just a “nice thing to do,” but an essential part of a newsroom that reports the news well. She also warns that, while online communities like Twitter bring more voices to the forefront, the existence of these platforms should not be allowed to occlude the severity of the issue.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
When 9.4 million followers isn’t enough: NBC News will shut down the Breaking News app on Dec. 31
“Experiments eventually need to sustain themselves and in this case, despite every effort, we just weren’t able to get there,” said Nick Ascheim of NBC News, which owns Breaking News.
The Wall Street Journal is confident its “bendier” paywall will draw the paying readers it needs to survive
Despite a bad fall shadowed by news about ad revenue declines and layoffs, the Journal has ridden what seems to be a post-election wave of interest in paid media. It’s counting on changes in paywall strategy to bring in even more digital subscribers.
Pushing to kill regulations (and weaken fair use), the newspaper lobby is asking Trump for change
The president-elect may not always get along with reporters, but a shared desire for fewer regulations could be common ground for his administration and the newspaper industry over the next few years.