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The wrong diversity goals for success 3/27/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Competition, Journalism.
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The American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) is about to go through its annual, all-too-predictable hand-wringing about the percentage of minorities in the newsroom, and how these deficits hurt the quality of news coverage. This measurement has been rendered meaningless by the expansion of the term “minority” to include one-third of the population — African-Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Even more problematic is the assumption that an individual’s newsroom ideology can be determined by the color of his or her skin, a stereotyping that does not seem to honor the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King. Ironically, the truly underserved minority news audiences make themselves known to us every day through their overrepresentation among Internet news audiences, e.g. 18-29 year-olds, far left, center-right, far right, environmentalists, “red staters,” gun owners, Evangelical Christians, Libertarians, Pro-Israel, Pro-Life, and animal rights activists. News outlets which continue to ignore these underserved minorities do so at their own peril.

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