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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Tom Petty, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    Diversity has been discussed here many, many times. I think every person has a different opinion about its importance or lackthereof in a newsroom.

    But how will the bloodlettings, layoffs and "downsizing" we're experiencing impact the diversity of newsrooms? Does anyone -- from staff to publishers to owners -- care now that the "vision" is becoming increasingly focused on the bottom line?
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Interesting question with no easy answers.

    I'd like to think newsrooms will at least make some effort at remaining diverse. However, some probably pay lip service to the idea of diversity.

    Then again, when I've done hiring, I've tried to consider who the best candidate will be for the job, regardless of diversity. Fortunately, my newsroom is pretty diverse as it is.
  3. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    Poorly, I'd imagine. This may be un-PC, but smart, qualified members of minority groups are in demand in a lot of fields. Why would they want to enter our dying craft?
  4. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    "Ron, I don't think the network has a need for a large, wooden ship."

    TP, I'll be honest. I've yet to see diversity numbers crunched because of the layoffs. If anything, I feel diversity (at least in the way of percentages) is getting better. We're seeing a lot of older, white people being bought of jobs. Those are the people who had opportunities back in their day, and now a good number of them are nearing the end of their professional careers.
  5. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    I don't think the bean counters care about race when it comes to firing. I forget where, but I recall a paper in the midwest having several minority journalists let go due to layoffs.
    The only color the bean counters care about is green.
  6. I agree with that. Green is the only color the bean counters think about. Nobody is bulletproof, black, white, brown, yellow, etc. Will we see less black and brown faces? Yes, but we're going to see less of every kind of face. There may be less diversity in the newsroom because of budget cuts, but these cuts have to be made regardless of color.
  7. MMatt60

    MMatt60 Member

    Riddick: Wasn't it St. Louis that lost some African-American journalists through cutbacks? (Not the sports editor, who resigned.)
  8. thebirds

    thebirds New Member

    There ought to be a law. If you have layoffs, you are forbidden from claiming a commitment to diversity or to anything else other than the bottom line for at least a year.
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    thanks for posting. i've been kicking this question around in my head the past few days but i haven't been able to formulate an opinion.
  10. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Depends on the owner of the rag.

    Do I think Gannett will keep diversity in mind during layoffs at one of its joints? Yeah.

    Will some other chains? No.

    And, again - at many papers, there is little to no diversity at all, because many of the best candidates are sucked, en masse, into the nation's largest newspapers via massive internship programs, where four or five of them stick, while the rest move into other parts of the business world. There are many mid-major rags that completely white and male, and mostly old.
  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Worrying about diversity in an industry that is circling the bowl is like a starving man turning down a hamburger because he doesn't have salt and ketchup. I know that's not PC and I'll likely get bashed, but if you put anything ahead of talent and effort right now when it comes to hiring -- oh, wait, and low starting salaries -- you won't stop the bleeding. If diversity fits within that, yea! But I have yet to see any revenue numbers that improve after gender or minority hires.
  12. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I've been a little surprised by the paucity of diversity in some of the recent high profile media moves in the last few months. It's not that those named to new posts aren't qualified or deserving, but when you see the diverse cabinet Obama has put together, that is notable more for its quality than its diversity, it makes you wonder why more diverse journos aren't being groomed for bigger roles.
    Meet The Press's choice of Gregory and CNN's pick of King, means all five of the Sunday "press" shows will be hosted by white men.
    Fox giving Hannity a solo show means Fox, MSNBC and CNN will all have an all white primetime line-up. (with three women getting an hour each). They are also replacing Britt Hume with Brett Baier (another white male) and adding Glenn Beck (awm) to the line-up.
    NBC giving Leno the 10 p.m. gigs means that next fall broadcast TV will have six and a half hours of talk shows a night, all hosted by white men.
    And there are currently no chief WH correspondents who aren't white, though CNN will have Suzanne Malveux as no. 2 to Ed Henry.

    To me this isn't an issue of fairness, it would strike me just as oddly as if all of the above were black, Hispanic or Asian.
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