The only report of its kind that recognizes the lack of parity that still exists among managers within television newsrooms.
Last week, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announced today the official release of its 2012 Television Newsroom Management Diversity Census. The report, now in its fifth year, consists of two studies examining current diversity figures within 295 television stations owned by 19 companies, and the diversity of newsroom management at the major networks. Though strides have been made, the report, the only one of its kind, recognizes the lack of parity that still exists among managers within television newsrooms.
According to the 2010 United States Census, non-whites comprise nearly 35 percent of the U.S. population, but the study finds that people of color fill only 12 percent of the newsroom managerial positions at stations owned by ABC, Allbritton Communications, Belo Corporation, CBS, Cox Media Group, Fox Television Stations, Gannett, Hearst, Journal Broadcast, Lin Media, Media General, Meredith, NBC, Nexstar Broadcasting, E.W. Scripps Company, Post-Newsweek, Raycom Media, Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune.
The study of network news organizations CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC and CNN show that people of color comprise 34 percent of newsroom managers and executives. Attempts to retrieve data from News Corporation/Fox News were unsuccessful.
NABJ’s local television newsroom survey examines senior-level personnel with the title of general manager, news director, assistant news director, managing editor, assignment manager, executive producer or web manager/director of digital media.
NABJ’s television network census examines senior-level personnel with the title of president, vice president, executive producer, senior producer, director, bureau chief, and other top managerial positions
“These reports highlight the urgent need for news organizations to go further to make newsrooms inclusive, and to clearly demonstrate that they truly value diversity in the workplace,” said NABJ President Gregory Lee Jr. “While we are pleased to know there has been some increase in newsroom diversity, NABJ will continue to push to ensure that black journalists are provided the opportunity to attain executive positions. “
NABJ continues to examine diversity in newsrooms and urges mainstream media companies to reach out to NABJ to help them fill openings in their newsrooms.
It must be noted that NABJ’s report provides information that Congress ordered the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to collect beginning in 1996. Section 257 of the amended Communications Act of 1934 mandates that the FCC “identify and eliminate, through regulatory action, market entry barriers for entrepreneurs and other small businesses in the provision and ownership of telecommunications and information services.”
Recent studies show people of color own less than 8 percent of all commercial radio stations and just more than 3 percent of all commercial television stations. “The numbers in this report are discouraging,” said NABJ Vice President of Broadcast and television station report author Bob Butler. “What’s even more troubling is FCC’s own statute directs it to collect this data, but for some reason it is not doing so.”
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation. NABJ provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide. For additional information, please visit, www.nabj.org.