Diversity in American newsrooms is . . . pretty much unchanged over the last 15 years.
That’s according to the American Society of News Editors’ (ASNE) most recent newsroom diversity study.
The results summarize responses from 661 news organizations, including 598 newspapers and 63 online-only news websites.
Women made up 39.1 percent of all newsroom employees in 2017, compared to 38.7 percent in 2016. That’s up from 37.35 in 2001.
Overall, 47.8 percent of online-only news site employees were women.
Minority journalists comprised 16.6 percent of the workforce in U.S. newsrooms who responded to the survey.
The annual survey also found that 25.5 percent of the news organizations reported having at least one minority journalist among their top three editors, and 74.8 percent reported having at least one woman in a top-three position.
The Missourian is bucking the trend, with three women in top positions, including its chief financial officer, managing editor/owner and photo editor/owner. The Union, Pacific and St. Clair editors also are all women.
Nationally, The Washington Post hits a 50/50 gender split, while USA Today’s newsroom is 67 percent male, The New York Times’ newsroom is 57 percent male, and The Wall Street Journal’s newsroom is 55 percent male.
The Post again leads the pack among the largest newspapers when it comes to racial diversity; 31 percent of its journalists are people of color, compared to 19 percent at both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
The results are interesting, but not completely unexpected. There are many, many articles and opinions on why the disparities exist.
But for now, I think awareness is just as important. Top leaders say the survey signals improvement, but that “more ambitious efforts need to be made to improve diversity, help rebuild trust and ensure that the news and information needs of underserved communities are being met.”
The Missourian does a terrific job of representing the community it covers. I’ve always been proud to be in a women-led newsroom and have many female mentors to look up to.
Information for this column is from the Nieman Lab and ASNE websites. To see an interactive diversity site, visit https://googletrends.github.io/asne.