Infographic: Racial inequality in journalism

It’s should be no surprise to the readers of this site that people of color and women are underrepresented in the field of journalism but a new info-graphic released by 4th Estate shows just how bad things are.  We covered the news, this summer when reports surfaced an extreme gender gap with reporters that cover issues impacting women.

The same is true for issues impacting people of color.  Whites are 61% of the total population but they make up 93% of political journalists.  A ridiculous majority of journalists who cover critical issues including immigration, race, and international affairs for mainstream publications including, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribute, are white.

See the effective info-graphic below.


Join the Conversation

  • Bethany

    I wish I could say this surprised me, though its sad just how bad some of these are, but I’ve seen it at internships and at my graduate school for journalism. There aren’t too many people of color in journalism and my friend (who has a very hispanic name) could not get a call back post-graduation until she changed her resume name to her first initial and waspish middle name. Then she gets a flurry of emails and phone calls. So disgusting.

  • ERose

    The journalism biz is actually far more horrible than a lot of people believe at diversity.
    Part of that is, of course, editors are mostly white dudes of one variety or other. But I actually think part of it is also that journalism is considered a ladder system – the better the paper, the more experience at smaller papers you need before they’ll even consider you. And most entry-level sized papers are in small very white towns. I’ve worked at papers where people of color turned down jobs because of how difficult it would have been to be not white in those markets, or didn’t stay long enough to get the longevity editors like to see on an application.
    It’s an institutional problem I think the field doesn’t recognize enough to correct. In newspaper journalism, there really isn’t a lot of recruiting – it’s very much a “see who applies with the right experience” type of setup. It’s a super passive hiring process and the pipeline gets a heavy whitewash right from the start without any editor every really noticing because it seems like such a case-by-case issue at smaller HR departments.
    Worth noting, it’s a lot the same with getting female political or business reporters since a lot of the (male) editors at small papers are the old-time political or business reporter and they tend to put someone on those beats that reminds them of themselves at that age. So if a larger paper is looking for someone with political reporting experience, it’s mostly going to be dudes who qualify.