Growing Ever So Slowly p.23

By: DEBRA GERSH HERNAndez The percentage of minorities in U.S. newspaper newsrooms grew by less than
two-tenths of a percent this year over last
INORITIES IN THE nation's newsrooms continued to increase in number this year, but only by the smallest of margins ? less than two-tenths of one percent.
According to the annual report from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, in 1995, minorities made up 10.91% of newsroom employees while this year that number is 11.02%.
During the same period, the number of white professionals in America's newsrooms increased 2%.
The ASNE report noted, however, that from 1978, when the survey began, to the 1996 report, minority employment increased 259% (from 3.95% of the total work force to 11.02%), compared to white employment, which grew by only 18% during the same period.
Of the total 54,978 newsroom employees in 1996, 2,980 (5.42%) are black, 1,768 (3.22%) are Hispanic, 1,088 (1.98%) are Asian American, and 224 (0.41%) are Native American, ASNE reported.
Among the total work force, only 8.4% of all newsroom supervisors are minorities; 13.8% of all photographers are minorities, with 12.3% reporters and 9.7% copy/layout editors, the ASNE survey found.
When looking at the specific jobs held by minorities in newsrooms, most minority professionals are reporters (52%), followed by supervisors (18%), copy/layout editors (16%) and photographers (13%).
In comparison, a quarter (25%) of whites in the newsroom are supervisors, 46% are reporters, 19% are copy/layout editors and 10% are photographers.
Nevertheless, the current distribution shows a considerable leveling out for minorities since 1978, when only 4% of minorities in the newsroom were supervisors and 67% were reporters.
Ironically, the percentages of minorities who are copy/layout editors and photographers has remained the same from 1978 to 1996 at 16% and 13%, respectively, with little fluctuation over the years.
Among blacks in the newsroom, the strong majority, 57% are reporters.
Another 19% are supervisors, 15% are copy/layout editors, and just 9% are photographers, ASNE reported.
Reporters make up half (50%) of the newsroom jobs held by Hispanics, while 18% are supervisors, 16% are photographers and 15% are copy/layout editors.
For Asian Americans in the newsroom, fewer than half (45%) are reporters, while nearly a quarter (22%) are copy/layout editors, 19% are photographers and 14% are supervisors, according to ASNE.
Supervisors make up a higher percentage of jobs among Native Americans (27%) than with the other groups, but like the others, most Native Americans (42%) are employed as reporters in newsrooms. Seventeen percent of Native American newsroom
employees are photographers, while 13% are copy/ layout editors.
The ASNE report also found that larger newspapers, those with circulations over 100,000, employ 62% of the minority journalists in the work force, while newspapers with circulations under 100,000 employ 38%.
Minority internships also were more abundant at larger newspapers, as those with circulations over 500,000 hosting 55.1% minorities in the internships they offered, compared to newspapers under 5,000 circulation, which saw minorities make up 8.3% of their interns.


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