Does the diversity of a news staff affect the diversity of issues, topics and people depicted in news coverage?

Our society has become more diverse nowadays, however, the diversity of news staff in newsroom experiencing a steady decline in recent years. The diversity of news staff would definitely affect the diversity of news in a news outlet. Therefore, narrow diversity of news staff may end up missing the opportunities to connect with the audiences.The diversity of news staffs may affect the diversity of news in a news outlet.

The diversity of news staffs may affect accuracy of the news. Accuracy is always a crucial journalism ethical value. The more diverse the news staff are in the newsroom; the news stories may be more accurate. As news staff are more familiar with the culture of their own background, when news stories about their background have to be covered, they can responsible for that. For example, African American staff members can cover stories relating to race relations in the community. Therefore, the information in the story can be more accurate. The content of the news will have broader appeal if staffs brings broader experiences and perspectives to news coverage [1]. A diverse newsroom and a diverse management team also enable the news outlet to have wider perspective on the community and its issues.

However, according to the annual study of newsroom diversity by The American Society of News Editors (ASNE) in 2003 [2], it shows a steady decline in minority journalists and stagnation in prior progress. For example, the ethnic minorities make up only 10 percent of newsroom supervisors.

Lack of diversity in newsroom means the news outlet would always disconnect with the readers. Also, the outlet would make mistakes that drift apart the audience.

 

References:

[1] Buttry 2013, Advice for editors: Work and hire to reflect your community’s diversity, The Buttry Diary.

[2] GERTZ 2013, Stagnant American Newsroom Diversity In Charts, The American Society of News Editors.

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