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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 19 according to several Hispanic editors at the Hearst newspaper, some white reporters saw it as punishment and did not want to participate. One Latina editor, Doris, was discouraged by the lack of participation of upper management in the training. She said that the editor (at the time) did not attend the diversity training and she was concerned what message this sent to others. For her the ideal diversity training would be a “boot camp where people learn that they are part of a racist society, a sexist society,” and she strongly felt that people at newspapers could not have an honest discussion about issues of diversity unless they acknowledged that. Doris expressed frustration that “outwardly, sometimes the editors and non minorities express the right things; they are the first to say all the right things at meetings, but when their guard is down, they will say things that you then know things haven't changed as much.” She believed there was still racism and sexism in the newsroom, and she still heard perspectives that reflected the stereotypes and biases of majority cultures. In one case that Doris told us about, there was a discussion in a newspaper meeting about how the newspaper could cover various aspects of culture. During the discussion, a white male reporter said, in essence, that the only culture worth talking/writing about was European, ignoring the culture of indigenous peoples. To Doris, this was evidence of subtle racism and how far they still had to go in newsroom conversations about covering minority cultures. For Doris, the people in charge had no clue about other perspectives because they were not minorities, nor had they ever been to conventions where minority journalists met and discussed these issues, such as NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists) and NAHJ (National Association of Hispanic Journalists). Doris felt strongly that her newspaper needed to make an investment in changing the views of and educating reporters who still saw things from an “Anglo-only perspective.” Other minority reporters as well as non-minority reporters expressed this same view—that reporters needed to learn to appreciate diverse perspectives. But the minority reporters typically expressed a clearer and stronger desire that there needed to be honest and open

Authors: Johnston, Anne. and Flamiano, Dolores.
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Bridging the Border between Communities of Color and Mainstream Newspapers
19
according to several Hispanic editors at the Hearst newspaper, some white reporters saw
it as punishment and did not want to participate. One Latina editor, Doris, was
discouraged by the lack of participation of upper management in the training. She said
that the editor (at the time) did not attend the diversity training and she was concerned
what message this sent to others. For her the ideal diversity training would be a “boot
camp where people learn that they are part of a racist society, a sexist society,” and she
strongly felt that people at newspapers could not have an honest discussion about issues
of diversity unless they acknowledged that.
Doris expressed frustration that “outwardly, sometimes the editors and non
minorities express the right things; they are the first to say all the right things at meetings,
but when their guard is down, they will say things that you then know things haven't
changed as much.” She believed there was still racism and sexism in the newsroom, and
she still heard perspectives that reflected the stereotypes and biases of majority cultures.
In one case that Doris told us about, there was a discussion in a newspaper meeting about
how the newspaper could cover various aspects of culture. During the discussion, a white
male reporter said, in essence, that the only culture worth talking/writing about was
European, ignoring the culture of indigenous peoples. To Doris, this was evidence of
subtle racism and how far they still had to go in newsroom conversations about covering
minority cultures.
For Doris, the people in charge had no clue about other perspectives because they
were not minorities, nor had they ever been to conventions where minority journalists met
and discussed these issues, such as NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists) and
NAHJ (National Association of Hispanic Journalists). Doris felt strongly that her
newspaper needed to make an investment in changing the views of and educating
reporters who still saw things from an “Anglo-only perspective.” Other minority
reporters as well as non-minority reporters expressed this same view—that reporters
needed to learn to appreciate diverse perspectives. But the minority reporters typically
expressed a clearer and stronger desire that there needed to be honest and open


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