Thursday, April 5, 2012

Minority journalists keep losing jobs

Sometimes I ask myself whether or not it was a good decision to study journalism. Although I don't directly work in the field, that questions bothers me a little too much. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) recently reported, "The number of Hispanic journalists working at U.S.dailies went from 1,889 to 1,650, a 0.47 percent decrease (4.54 to 4.07 percent). The total loss of minority newsroom positions is at 5.7 percent." These numbers come from the most recent American Society of Newspaper Editors’ annual newsroom census. NAHJ's mission is to increase the percentage of Latinos working in our nation’s newsrooms and to improve news coverage of the Latino community. Talk about a tough job right?

And it's not just Latino journalists. The same report that covered Latino journalists stated that the number of African American journalists declined for the fourth consecutive year. African Americans in the newsroom workforce fell from 4.68 percent in 2011 to 4.65 percent. The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) reported, "Since 2002, African American journalists have lost newsroom 993 jobs – more than any other group of minorities, including Hispanic, Asian and Native American.

 There have been numerous pushes by both parties to adopt a hiring policy that requires at least one candidate of color among the top three candidates under consideration to fill newsroom openings. Is this really happening? And even if this "candidate of color" becomes a top three candidate, it doesn't necessarily mean they will get the job. I wish I could speak on behalf of journalists everywhere but unfortunately it's not what I do full-time. Minorities need to represented in front of and behind the cameras.
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