New report shines light on staggering underrepresentation of women of color in media
According to a new report from the Women’s Media Center, women of color are still vastly underrepresented in print, television and radio platforms. They make up only 7.95 percent of U.S. print newsroom staff, 6.2 percent of local radio staff, and 12.6 percent of local TV news staff.
The report analyzes the response of news organizations to professional association queries. It also includes interviews with journalists like Joy-Ann Reid, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Jenni Monet who provide an important first-hand contextualization of its findings.
The Women’s Media Center recommends in its report that media organizations keep track of employees, decision makers, and candidates for promotion and staff with intention as it relates to women of color. Additionally, they recommend news outlets diversify their news sources. As Huffington Post‘s Washington bureau chief Amanda Terkel points out: “So much of hiring in journalism is poaching from other news outlets, which is often a great way to get talent. But when you do that, you’re often dipping from the same pool of people rather than bringing in new voices.”
The Women’s Media Center hopes that calling attention to the dearth of diverse voices in today’s media will get the attention of both the media entities and the people who consume the media, hopefully leading to changes. As Cristal Williams Chancellor, the director of communications at the Women’s Media Center says: “Diverse voices means that we have a more credible media, and a more democratic society… We need a media that’s more representative and inclusive, and looks like America.”