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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 6 on critical issues. McGowan’s criticism, however, ignores the fact that in general, newspapers (particularly those with circulations under 100,000) have not attained diverse staffs. His observation that diversity efforts have exacerbated racism may be on target, but is probably the result of too few changes rather than too many. Having women and minorities in newsrooms and in top management positions does not insure diversity in newspaper content. Studies suggest that there may be pressure on women and minorities to ‘think’ like everyone else once they’ve achieved positions of power (Saltzman, 1994; Sanders, 1993). For many scholars, the reasons for having diversity in the media go beyond the ‘good business’ imperative. Many scholars advocate pluralism because allowing for diverse voices in the content of media is crucial and central to serving the broader principle of the robust marketplace of ideas, to hearing the voices of women and minorities perspectives on a variety of issues and to fostering an appreciation for differences in experience and knowledge (Allen, 1990; Glasser, 1992; Lawrence, 1990; Napoli, 2001). In some cases, researchers have found that good journalism and good business practices are not mutually exclusive and found that reporters felt that the publisher’s diversity goals helped the newspaper reporting and coverage of the community (Gross, Curtin, & Cameron, 2001). Paradigms of Diversity There are so many variables in trying to understand diversity and how to diversify staff and content, that sometimes a holistic picture of how diversity can be incorporated into any company is lost. In struggling to understand the best ways to ‘manage diversity’, Thomas and Ely (1996) suggest that three different models of diversity help to explain how an organization sees diversity and how it then implements and finally measures diversity. In the “discrimination and fairness” model, the company is focused on ‘compliance’ with EEOC policies and with broad notions of equal opportunity and fair treatment. According to Thomas and Ely, “the staff gets diversified but the work does not” (p. 81) because this model does not allow the new perspectives provided by the diverse force to affect the company. In their second model, access and legitimacy, a

Authors: Johnston, Anne. and Flamiano, Dolores.
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Bridging the Border between Communities of Color and Mainstream Newspapers
6
on critical issues. McGowan’s criticism, however, ignores the fact that in general,
newspapers (particularly those with circulations under 100,000) have not attained diverse
staffs. His observation that diversity efforts have exacerbated racism may be on target, but
is probably the result of too few changes rather than too many.
Having women and minorities in newsrooms and in top management positions
does not insure diversity in newspaper content. Studies suggest that there may be pressure
on women and minorities to ‘think’ like everyone else once they’ve achieved positions of
power (Saltzman, 1994; Sanders, 1993). For many scholars, the reasons for having
diversity in the media go beyond the ‘good business’ imperative. Many scholars advocate
pluralism because allowing for diverse voices in the content of media is crucial and
central to serving the broader principle of the robust marketplace of ideas, to hearing the
voices of women and minorities perspectives on a variety of issues and to fostering an
appreciation for differences in experience and knowledge (Allen, 1990; Glasser, 1992;
Lawrence, 1990; Napoli, 2001). In some cases, researchers have found that good
journalism and good business practices are not mutually exclusive and found that
reporters felt that the publisher’s diversity goals helped the newspaper reporting and
coverage of the community (Gross, Curtin, & Cameron, 2001).
Paradigms of Diversity
There are so many variables in trying to understand diversity and how to diversify
staff and content, that sometimes a holistic picture of how diversity can be incorporated
into any company is lost. In struggling to understand the best ways to ‘manage diversity’,
Thomas and Ely (1996) suggest that three different models of diversity help to explain
how an organization sees diversity and how it then implements and finally measures
diversity. In the “discrimination and fairness” model, the company is focused on
‘compliance’ with EEOC policies and with broad notions of equal opportunity and fair
treatment. According to Thomas and Ely, “the staff gets diversified but the work does
not” (p. 81) because this model does not allow the new perspectives provided by the
diverse force to affect the company. In their second model, access and legitimacy, a


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