• Fri, Oct 26 2012

Bleached: The Front Page Lacks Diversity

We’re all used to reporters reporting the news on issues like human rights, sexism, racism, war, politics, fashion, celebrities, policies… all sorts of important topics that we know people are invested in in several ways. We put our trust into journalists (which I s’pose includes us, so thanks!) to deliver news in a truthful manner.

We tend to want to read stories that are relevant to us are important, so reading stories by writers that are both truthful and relevant to us can be important in some way, right? I mean, everybody needs a good laugh so we jump over to Fox News occasionally, do some giggling (or feel serious worry for humanity) and hop back on to the outlets we trust. When it comes to reading news, particularly in print, I think it’s rare to wind up thinking about whose work we’re reading.

According to The 4th State, there’s a decided lack of diversity on the front page of most major news circuits.

Click picture to enlarge.

While nearly 34% of Americans are non-white, according to the 2010 census, less than 7% of headlines for major media outlets are written by minorities. The New York Times, for example, has 92% of its feature articles written by whites. The San Francisco Chronicle, which I sort of assumed would be diverse, has its features written 100% by whites.

On election topics, every single one is covered primarily by whites. Whether it’s the economy (91.1%), social issues (90.8%) or foreign policy (92.7%), most front page news is written by people who are non-minorities. What was extremely surprising is that a staggering 98.2% of writers with headlines regarding immigration for these news sources are white. Of all the issues, wouldn’t we assume that that’d be the most diverse one? (Or maybe that’s just my wishful thinking.)

In any case, while I am Latina (though I’ve mentioned a couple days ago that I am quite “white” lookin’) and I’m not really sure how to feel about these statistics: on the one hand, I wish everything–literally, everything–pertaining to large scale media and entertainment was more diverse. On the other hand, I feel that as long as a reporter is doing their job to deliver informative, truthful news, their race doesn’t remotely concern me. But considering I have a feeling that these statistics play a considerable role in which headlines are reported and how, particularly pertaining to immigration (which is a huge election issue for me), I’m more worried.

I’m genuinely interested in how you readers feel. Is diversity among mainstream media news outlets important to you?

Pic via TheJuryExpert.

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  • AK

    This site was pretty bleached out before you showed up ;) Glad you’re here!