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Bridging the Border between Communities of Color and Mainstream Newspapers: Journalists Discuss Diversity Programs
Unformatted Document Text:  Bridging the Border between Communities of Color and Mainstream Newspapers 10 100,000 (the Gannett-owned paper is the smallest, with a circulation of 187,000 and the Tribune-owned paper is the largest, with a circulation of 368,000). As noted above, each of the papers serves significant communities of color, including Hispanic and African- American communities. In fact, the Hearst-owned paper serves a market in which Whites are the minority community, outnumbered by Hispanics. It is worth noting that each of the newspapers we studied has above-average minority representation on its staff. According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the average number of minority journalists working at daily newspapers in 2000 was 11.64 percent. The numbers for the papers we studied, the numbers ranged from 14.5 percent at the Gannett paper to 28.5 percent at the Hearst paper (ASNE, 2001). The 37 news people we interviewed included people who had been at the newspaper for over 20 years to those that had been there less than 5. Of the 37 interviews, our sample was made up of 16 men (10 white and 6 minority, including both African American and Hispanic/Latino) and 21 women (9 white and 12 minority, including, African-American, Hispanic/Latina and Filipina). We found that top management at the four newspapers was white and mainly men. Women did well in the lower ranks of supervisory positions; we did find minority men and women as editors of sections or assistant editors of special sections. (Please see Appendix 2 for the breakdown of the reporters or editors interviewed. Pseudonyms are provided for the journalists whom we quote in the findings.) In our interviews with the journalists, certain recurring themes emerged as critical challenges in their newspapers’ diversity efforts. The issues that we identified included: connecting with communities (overcoming the negative images of the newspapers in the community, reconnecting with minority communities, and issues of belonging to or identifying with particular communities); changing the workplace (hiring & promoting a diverse staff, training existing staff in diversity, changing newsroom routines); and putting journalists of color in gatekeeper positions. Connecting with Communities

Authors: Johnston, Anne. and Flamiano, Dolores.
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Bridging the Border between Communities of Color and Mainstream Newspapers
10
100,000 (the Gannett-owned paper is the smallest, with a circulation of 187,000 and the
Tribune-owned paper is the largest, with a circulation of 368,000). As noted above, each
of the papers serves significant communities of color, including Hispanic and African-
American communities. In fact, the Hearst-owned paper serves a market in which Whites
are the minority community, outnumbered by Hispanics. It is worth noting that each of
the newspapers we studied has above-average minority representation on its staff.
According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the average number of
minority journalists working at daily newspapers in 2000 was 11.64 percent. The
numbers for the papers we studied, the numbers ranged from 14.5 percent at the Gannett
paper to 28.5 percent at the Hearst paper (ASNE, 2001).
The 37 news people we interviewed included people who had been at the
newspaper for over 20 years to those that had been there less than 5. Of the 37 interviews,
our sample was made up of 16 men (10 white and 6 minority, including both African
American and Hispanic/Latino) and 21 women (9 white and 12 minority, including,
African-American, Hispanic/Latina and Filipina). We found that top management at the
four newspapers was white and mainly men. Women did well in the lower ranks of
supervisory positions; we did find minority men and women as editors of sections or
assistant editors of special sections. (Please see Appendix 2 for the breakdown of the
reporters or editors interviewed. Pseudonyms are provided for the journalists whom we
quote in the findings.)
In our interviews with the journalists, certain recurring themes emerged as critical
challenges in their newspapers’ diversity efforts. The issues that we identified included:
connecting with communities (overcoming the negative images of the newspapers in the
community, reconnecting with minority communities, and issues of belonging to or
identifying with particular communities); changing the workplace (hiring & promoting a
diverse staff, training existing staff in diversity, changing newsroom routines); and
putting journalists of color in gatekeeper positions.
Connecting with Communities


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