It appears that as the U.S. economy continues its struggle, newsrooms are being forced to let people go. However, these newsrooms seem to be becoming less diverse.
According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ (ASNE)2011 census, for the third straight year, the number of minority journalists has dropped. Today, just 13 percent of those working in the newsroom are minorities, with the remaining 87 being white.
Frank Blethen of the Seattle Times attributed the dwindling number to the owners willing to cut back on diversity despite it being necessary to democracy.
“Pure and simple – it’s the obscene concentration of ownership coupled with a broken, dominant ownership model which doesn’t care about journalism or diversity, or any other communal values,” Blethen said. “The newspaper business model is very sound and can support journalism and diversity if freed from these financial mercenaries and the unsustainable debt they piled on newspapers. Even in the worst of the recession, the big chains who went through bankruptcy, or still might, were pulling down 14-20 percent cash flow margins — hardly a distressed business model.”