By: Mark Fitzgerald
In an effort to gauge the racial, ethnic and gender diversity of online-only newsrooms, the American Society of News Editors took a second census of Web journalists, and found that the small number of respondents appear more diverse than the average daily newspaper.
But the special census is unlikely to settle questions about the diversity of online-only journalists, since the number of news organizations skipping ASNE’s survey include some of the best-known sites including YahooNews, The Huffington Post, AOL News, MinnPost, AnnArbor.com, Talking Points Memo and Salon.
ASNE sent surveys to 58 sites and 27, or 47%, responded. Of those responding, about one of every five full-time journalists was a journalist of color, compared to about one of every seven in the this year’s census of daily newspaper newsrooms, ASNE said. “Two of every five staffers at the online-only sites were women, compared to about one of every three in the newspaper newsrooms,” the association added.
ASNE released figures on online-only newsroom diversity with its annual census in April, but later withdrew the results since surveys were sent to only 28 sites, and just seven responded. Several sites complained they never received a survey and were unaware of the census.
“We’re grateful to those who pressed us on the importance of this new effort and helped us do it better. But this is still just a first step — an important one, but a first step,” ASNE President Milton Coleman said in a statement.
“As this type of newswork evolves, so will our efforts to monitor it and give information and direction to those who recognize that increasing diversity in America’s newsrooms and news reports is essential to our profession, our business and our society,” added Coleman, senior editor at The Washington Post.
Like newspapers, online-only sites with more employees tended to have the most diverse newsrooms.
Following are responding sites and the percentage of minorities on the newsroom:
Center for Investigative Reporting/California Watch, Berkeley, Calif.
Crosscut Public Media, Seattle
Factcheck.org/Annenberg Public Policy Center, Washington
GablesHomePage, Coral Gables, Fla.
Gotham Gazette, New York City
Investigate West, Edmonds, Wash.
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, Hallowell, Maine
Mission Loc@l, San Francisco
New West, Missoula, Mont.
NJ (Montclair) Spotlight
ProPublica, New York
St. Louis Beacon
Texas Watchdog, Houston
The Bay Citizen, San Francisco
The Center for Public Integrity, Washington
The New Haven (Conn.) Independent
The News Mexico Independent, Albuquerque
The Root, Washington
The Sacramento (Calif.) Press
The Texas Tribune, Austin
The Washington Independent
Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen
Voice of San Diego
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Madison
Online news organizations ASNE said did not respond to the census:
Annarbor.com, Dearborn, Mich.
AOL, New York
DNAinfo, New York
Investigative Voice, Baltimore
NEast Philly, Philadelphia
New Jersey Newsroom, Montclair
New River Voice, Radford, Va.
Open Media Boston, Boston
Salon.com, San Francisco
San Francisco Appeal, San Francisco
SF Public Press, San Francisco
Talking Points Memo (TPM Media LLC), New York
The Big Money, New York
The B-Town Blog, Burien, Wash.
The Capital Times, Madison, Wis.
The Colorado Independent
The Connecticut Mirror, Hartford,
The Daily Beast, New York
The Fayetteville (Ark.) Flyer
The Florida Independent
The Grand Avenue News, Coral Gables, Fla.
The Huffington Post, Los Angeles
The Iowa Independent, Ames
The Lens, New Orleans
The Michigan Messenger
The Minnesota Independent, Minneapolis
TucsonSentinel.com, Tucson, Ariz.
Wyofile, Lander, Wyo.
Yahoo!, Sunnyvale, Calif.