Alex T. Williams, a PhD student in communications at the University of Pennsylvania has noticed a trend in today's media. Williams isn't the only one, though. In fact, it doesn't take a genius to see the lack of minorities in our newsrooms.
So what's the deal? Isn't it 2015? Why aren't we progressing and providing a different angle and perspective in the media?
Williams believes there are three key factors:
1) Minority students are less likely to work for their campus newspaper, because they either attending a college without a newsroom or threatened by being the minority.
2) Unpaid internships only support financially advantaged youth, and many minorities cannot afford to hold an internship without pay.
3) Networking is often forgotten by minority students because they are too focused on working twice as hard for half the credit.
While many believe the lack of diversity in a newsroom comes from economic issues preventing minorities from entering, this study actually proves otherwise. Williams points out that around 24.2 percent of journalism and communications students are minorities, which isn't a huge number, but still bigger than those finding jobs after graduation. Take a look:
There is a significant difference in minorities getting hired versus white graduates; it's fairly accurate to assume some sort of bias is occurring. If newsrooms want more diversity, then chalking up an applicant to their resume and lack of internships isn't going to help the cause.
As Williams so eloquently puts it, "If a job candidate is a solid, curious writer with drive and a good work ethic, they deserve consideration."
Original article and photos via Columbia Journalism Review.