Diversity in Journalism Is Essential for America

Ryan Witte, Guest Writer

For years America has been struggling to get over racial stereotypes and to properly understand minorities. The problem is that many minorities don’t have a way to voice their problems to most americans. But what is the best way to accomplish this monumental task? I think that diversifying the profession of journalism is the best way to get this done.

To start I must say that we get a lot of our information from journalists. From breaking news to numerous op-eds, journalists hold a lot of sway in the workings of our society. A single story about an impoverished neighborhood could help fund food banks and charities in the area enormously. Because of this it is vital that we diversify the profession because there is no way for our society to become integrated if our media is only from the perspective of white males. By introducing different cultures and viewpoints we can guarantee that minorities have representation in American society and that their problems are heard by the public. However this is definitely not the case today. Pew Research Center reports that 77% of newsroom employees are white and 48% are white and male. This is disturbing that a population that only accounts for a third of America makes up half of the people that we rely on for information. Similarly the American Press Institute argues that, “Journalism, in its truest form, should be produced for the benefit of all,” which shows how diversification can help us attain this “truest form” of journalism. 

Another reason journalists should strive to diversify is that there is an economic incentive for doing it. Afterall people pay more attention when the news is about something they can relate to. According to ScienceDaily people are more likely to trust people of their own race, a subconscious instinct we developed to protect ourselves from other tribes. If news stations were to have a more diverse newsroom then people might actually trust them more.

Now doing this would not be an easy task especially when faced with economic and personal aims. However, I think that it is possible if we do these things. First off we need to provide physical incentives for newsrooms to improve their representation. For example a new law that gives bonuses for newsrooms that do stories on minorities or have an integrated workplace. In addition to this the most powerful tool we have is the influence the viewers have on the news. After all if the news companies rely on the viewers for their income so an organized rally for diversification could do a lot to further the cause. And finally we would also need to increase the education of minorities since most journalists have a college education. This is a problem I can’t even begin to solve, but it would improve workplace diversity.

In conclusion diversity in journalism/news is essential for America due to the fact that we need better representation for minorities. In addition it may even help news stations to gain viewers. So to put it simply we can make a change in America’s media that will change the way our society addresses and understands minorities forever.

 

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