WEDNESDAY’S LETTERS: Newsroom Diversity Not Such a Big Deal?, U.S. Press Covering Iraq on the Cheap

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, reactions to a report that newsrooms aren’t becoming more diverse, and a reader agrees with Bruce Kesler that the American press is covering Iraq on the cheap.


What’s Black and White and Read All Over?

I enjoyed your interesting article about the lack of minority reporters ratio in daily newspapers.

I’m sure if you took the media as whole and not just dailies, you would find even lower percentages of political conservatives.

Gil McLean, Esq.

If we’re not supposed to see a person for their skin color or judge them by it, why are journalists categorized as black or white? How can a society get past the race issue when everything is broken down by race?

Atlanta, GA

Pretty interesting how so many newpapers can trumpet the shortcomings of corporations, small business, governments at all levels, etc.etc. for not being “diverse”, “sensitive”, and ignoring the plight of minorities. .. yet, they collectively comprise a major contradiction to their own words.

They probably blame Bush.

Joe Spehar
Springerville, Arizona


Kudos for Kesler

Mr. Kesler is right on. As an active duty member who has deployed to Iraq and discussed some of these issues both with reporters and military Public Affairs Officers, I would only add the following observation: some embedded reporters have later been treated as traitors by their collegues. Their experiences and observations while embedded with military units taught them to better appreciate the men and women in uniform, and caused them to question some prior anti-military assumptions characteristic of the mainstream media. It’s no surprise to me that individual reporters are reluctant to embed with the troops — among most of them, it’s clearly not seen as a career enhancing move.

Bruce Anderson
Oceanside, CA

Great piece — this was something that needed to be written. [Kesler’s] research and interviews were thorough.

One thought that comes to mind is that the question of covering news on the cheap could be asked on perhaps every other beat as well. The increased corporate influence on the news media in terms of who owns media outlets means that the bottom line is viewed as being more important than the actual product in many organizations.

We see this with coverage of the war in Iraq – the assumption on the part of many organizations who would be expected to have boots on the ground there is that somebody else will cover the war. That assumption leads to less boots on the ground, less coverage, less quality coverage – and because media organizations in the current day and age tend to follow the “if it bleeds, it leads” principle, we get coverage of those issues in abundance at the expense of any real enterprise reporting.

Kudos to you for tackling this subject — and for the result.

Chris Graham
Augusta Free Press
Wayneboro, VA

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