1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Someone's Take on diversity in the newsroom...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by silvershadow1981, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. http://apse.dallasnews.com/news/2007/061307daidone.html

    Thoughts, anyone?
  2. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    She makes a good point. A effort needs to be made to attract a diverse group of candidates, but the hires should be made with keeping the quality of the product as the number one factor, not what certain group a candidate belongs to. I for one, wish there were more women in the sports side of the business. I only know of two in the state I work in. TWO, that's all. That's totally crazy.
  3. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    The issue of whether diversity is mandatory, desirable or unconstitutional has now been rendered moot by the basic numerical fact that there aren't many jobs anymore for anybody to fill. Personally, I don't want to hear publishers speak of the need for diversity when they're whacking jobs left and right. Diversity and layoffs/hiring freezes are in conflict with one another. If you're zapping jobs, you cannot be committed to diversity. You are committed to profit margin, which is every employer's right. But if saving money is so important that it requires the termination of employees, just say so. Or at the very least, say nothing.
    There's only one way to achieve diversity in the midst of downsizing, and that is to fire only white males. And as far as I know, that's supposed to be illegal.
  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Well, many papers are whacking the older, higher-paid staffers first, and those are, by percentage, more predominantly white males, so eventually this effect will probably occur.
  5. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    At my last stop, we had a part-time reporter who was OK. When it was known that I was seriously looking for other work, the publisher, a man, said that SHE would immediately move up because "It would look great to have a female sports reporter," which was seconded by the managing editor, a woman. The part-timer in question was a mediocre writer, fairly lazy and uninspired to a hardcore degree.

    However, also interested in the full-time spot was a part-time writer with five years' experience at a larger, nearby paper in the chain. The publisher didn't even look at him. He is a better writer, also has hometown roots and gets along very well with the editor. But none of that mattered because he was -- and still is -- a man.

    Now, the female reporter has gotten lazier, takes off work whenever she can and is far less concerned with quality now that she's a full-time employee.

    Sometimes the world isn't fair.
  6. Jemele Hill

    Jemele Hill Member

    This column has been circulated quite a bit among the NABJ Sports Task Force, and I'm sure most of you can imagine the response it drew.

    I get tired of managers like this one being let off the hook for this type of thinking. First, she automatically implied that being diverse means hiring something of lesser value, which is beyond insulting and troubling. Secondly, it's been my experience that these managers simply don't do a good job recruiting and then they take the easy way out by hiring the first minority they see -- which does no one any good.

    I'm wondering how many times she's been to NABJ, a historically black college, or contacted the Sports Journalism Institute to recruit? I'm wondering if she's ever asked any of the many managers in NABJ Sports Task Force about where to find minority candidates, or if they had any suggestions. I'm wondering if she's ever had any white interns that weren't up to par, since she seemed to imply her worthless hires were mostly minorities.

    I willingly admit I'm sensitive to this issue. I also realize the economic realities of the business are causing more difficult decisions. But this problem is more than just simply, hey, the minorities just aren't good enough. Are there are some minorities and women who fit that category? Sure. Just as there are plenty of white reporters treading water and not doing their jobs. Bottom line is, I notice the smart managers in this business don't seem to have a problem recruiting and retaining qualified minorities.
  7. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    Your first point is a little off, considering the fact your second point is exactly the one she was trying to make.

    She was expressing her frustration with the idea of hiring someone just because they fill a quota, with no regard to their actual drive or ability. In her newsroom, she was being asked to hire someone of lesser value to the actual product because they filled a certain diversity requirement.

    And situations like that have more potential to invite valid criticism and set back a diversity movement, instead of advancing it.
  8. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    No, it's not.

    Two generations ago women were being told they couldn't participate in sports, period, simply because they were female. That wasn't fair.

    A generation ago women were being told they couldn't work in sports, period, simply because they were female. That wasn't fair.

    In my short career I've encountered many moments of discrimination, either overt or implied, simply because I'm female. That's not fair.

    I'm sorry that you encountered someone who was less than professional in your career travels. But that's exactly what it is: a bad employee. Not a bad female employee. Or a bad black/Hispanic/Asian employee. We generate entire threads on bad employees/coworkers, and we don't brand them as bad white male employees.
  9. pallister

    pallister Guest

    So how much work have you put in searching for candidates, pouring through resumes, bringing in the best candidates you can find, putting those candidates through their paces, determining who the best hire would be, then being told whom you have to hire, making all the work you put in meaningless and a waste of time to more qualified candidates who were passed over?
  10. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    I don't care if my coworkers are blue, green or purple.

    If they're good people, and all the people I work with are, I couldn't care less.
  11. Jemele Hill

    Jemele Hill Member

    I've been apart of hiring committees, know enough SEs, MEs, etc., to have a fairly good feel for how things are done and the typical mistakes that are made. It's just been my experience, as I said, that the good managers find qualified minority and female candidates through some of the resources I discussed. That is why my initial thoughts/questions was what has SHE done to ensure she has a qualified, diverse candidate pool. Unfortunately, that wasn't apart of the column. If for some reason a majority of her minority hires are turning out to be bogus, then yes, I do have to question how she is finding them and the work she has put in.

    To me, her column irrationally heightened the perception that diversity = equals less than. I wouldn't go as far as to say the behavior she described among her interns was typical, but it's not exactly a shocker. It happens on a lot of different internships. But the inference was that this was typical behavior of minority candidates. So the next time a qualified minority or female candidate comes to that newsroom, they will automatically face a sentiment that they are there as a quota filler.
  12. I'll never tell

    I'll never tell Active Member

    Let's say I get a resume. How do I know what race you are?

    If you're told you must hire an african-american sports writer, how do you pick those resumes out of the pile? Outside of someone attending a HBC, isn't it kind of racist to go through and pick out the black sounding names?

    The last guy I hired had nothing indicating his race on his resume, outside of the fact that he went to a HBC. And I got the school mixed up with another one and didn't realize it was a HBC. I honestly had no idea he was black until he walked through the door.

    But he was the guy I wanted to hire to begin with and he's the guy I hired.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page