October 10, 2017

The annual newsroom diversity survey from the American Society of News Editors shows slight decreases in diversity at American newsrooms compared with last year. 

ASNE surveyed 598 newspapers and 63 online-only news sites and found:

— People of color made up 16.55 percent of those surveyed, down from 16.94 in 2016. In daily newspapers, 16.31 percent were minorities, compared with 16.65 last year. In digital-only newsrooms, 24.3 percent were minorities, compared with 23.3 last year.

— Minorities and women in leadership went up slightly, from 13 percent in 2016 to 13.4 percent this year among minority editors and 37.1 percent in 2016 to 38.9 percent this year among women in leadership. 

— Women made up 38.9 percent of employees at daily newspapers, and 47.8 percent of online-only publications, both slightly up from the year before.

— Larger news organizations had more journalists of color, at 23.4 percent this year compared with 23.7 percent in 2016 at newsrooms with daily circulation of 500,000 or more.  

This year, Google News Labs created visualizations to see how newsrooms are doing in terms of gender, race and ethnicity and leadership compared with the places they covered. (Disclosure: Google News Labs helps fund Poynter.)

"It's important to paint a picture of how newsrooms are changing and visualizing that against the communities they report on in a way that is easy to understand," said LaToya Drake, inclusive storytelling lead for the Google News Lab, in a press release. "We hope this presentation is one the industry will value. We believe inclusion is crucial to creating media that opens us up to new perspectives on significant issues of our time, and this partnership with ASNE is a step in that direction."

For instance, the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times has 86 percent of leaders who are white, with 83 percent overall newsroom employees who are white, compared with 56 percent of the population.

Leadership at The Dallas Morning News is 87 percent white, with 78 percent of the overall newsroom who are white, compared with 29 percent of the population.

The Washington Post has leadership who are 73 percent white, a newsroom that's 69 percent white and a population that's 61 percent white. Half of the editors at the Post are women. 

You can explore the results for yourself here:

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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