August 23, 2012

Radio Television Digital News Association
Television and radio employed more minority journalists last year than the year before, according to the latest release from RTDNA’s annual survey. Minorities now account for 21.5 percent of the television workforce, up from 20.5 percent the year before, and 11.7 percent of the radio workforce, up from 7.1 percent in 2011.

Fox affiliate stations had the highest percentage of minority employees; NBC affiliate stations had the lowest. There were interesting regional differences, too: “Stations in the Northeast and Midwest had minority percentages around half the South and West,” Bob Papper writes in the report.

At Hispanic-focused stations, nearly 90 percent of the workforce identified as Hispanic, up from 84 percent the year before.

The number of minority news directors rose slightly. Generally, Papper writes, “the larger the newsroom staff, the less likely that it was headed by a minority … Among the big four, NBC affiliates were the most likely to have a minority news director … with Fox affiliates lagging way behind the rest.”

Men are still doing great. “As usual, in TV, men outnumber women for all groups except Asian Americans, where women outnumber men almost 2:1,” Papper writes. Women “edged past the 30 percentile mark as TV news directors,” he says, noting that “a slightly smaller percentage of women news directors return the survey compared to men. For whatever the reason, that’s been true every year since I started the census calculation in 2002.”

TV continues to clobber newspapers in most measurements of diversity. Earlier this year ASNE figures showed the percentage of minority employees continued to decline in print newsrooms. Papper compares those figures to TV’s:

Related: TV station newsrooms staffed up in 2011, as print newsrooms shrank | TV stations now airing about 5 hours of local news per weekday

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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