By: Debra Gersh Hernandez American Society of Newspaper Editors releases numbers from its 1993 survey sp.
LITTLE PROGRESS WAS made last year in raising the number of minority journalists working at daily newspapers in the United States. According to the latest minority employment survey by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 10.49% of newspaper employees in 1993 were minorities, an increase of slightly less than one-quarter of a percentage point from 10.25% a year earlier. However, of all journalists hired for their first full-time newspaper positions, 24% were minorities, a gain of 3.4%. In addition, 39% of all newspaper interns were minorities, a slight decline of 0.8%, although the proportion of minorities remained the same, according to the ASNE report. More than half (55%) of U.S. daily newspapers employed minorities, with all of the largest papers (more than 100,000 circulation) employing people of color. Sixty-three percent of the minority journalists worked at papers with circulations of more than 100,000, and among the papers with circulations of more than 500,000, minorities made up 17.1% of the total newsroom work force. Smaller newspapers made up most of the 45% of dailies that do not employ any minorities. Minority supervisors increased to 7.7% from 7.1%, and of the minorities employed by all the papers, 18% are in supervisory positions. Among the 5,635 minorities working in newsrooms, there was no change in job breakdown: 53% were reporters and writers, 17% were copy editors, and 13% were photographers and artists. Black journalists made up the largest percentage of minorities in the newsroom at 5.38% of the total work force, followed by Hispanics (2.95% of the work force), Asian-Americans (1.83%) and Indians (0.33%). The ASNE findings are based on responses from 987 of the 1,515 daily newspapers in the United States. "We not only must increase the numbers much more dramatically, but we also should emphasize retaining, developing and promoting minorities on our staffs," said Bob Mong, managing editor of the Dallas Morning News and chairman of ASNE's Minorities Committee. The survey began in 1978, when the ASNE board set the goal of reaching minority employment that mirrored the general population by the year 2000. At that time, only 3.95% of the newsroom work force were minorities.