NBC Stations Lead in Management Diversity
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tribune Lags as NABJ Surveys Seven Companies
A survey of top managers making news decisions at local television stations finds 65 people of color among 548 employed by outlets owned by ABC, CBS, FOX, Hearst Argyle, Media General, NBC and Tribune.
NBC had the greatest diversity, with 27.1 percent, followed by ABC, 16.4 percent; Media General, 12.2 percent; CBS, 12 percent; Fox, 11.8 percent; Hearst Argyle, 5.8 percent; and Tribune, 3.2 percent.¬†
Overall, the figures translate to 11.7 percent African American, Hispanic or Asian American, said the National Association of Black Journalists, which conducted the study and released the results at its annual convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday.
"The results are discouraging. The economic downturn has forced companies to reduce staffs and it appears that diversity is one of the casualties. People of color comprise 34% of the United States population," the association said.
"Of more concern is that only 5 general managers (4.5%) and 11 (9.9%) news directors at all of these stations are non-white."
The 2009 census looked at executive producers, managing editors, assistant news directors, news directors and general managers at 111 stations. "People in these positions can set the news agenda, make coverage decisions and/or have hiring authority." Forty-four of the managers were African American, 15 Hispanic and 6 Asian American. There were no Native American managers.
However, one of the companies, Hearst Argyle, challenged NABJ's criteria.
'You did not include assignment managers, operations managers, chief photographers and producers in this mix and I can only tell you that in many of our smaller stations our producers are managers and are making decisions and are, in some cases, charged with hiring replacements,' said Hearst Argyle Vice President of News Brian Bracco, according to the report, authored by NABJ regional director Bob Butler of the Chauncey Bailey Project.
Bracco said that based on what Hearst considers and reports as managers, people of color comprise 17.5 percent of all newsroom managers and 20.5 percent of all newsroom personnel.
'Diversity is part of the fabric of our company. We have gone the extra mile in our outreach and I don't know of another company that has spent the time, effort and wherewithal to make sure our newsrooms reflect our communities.'
"These results should be a wake up call to media owners who say they are serious about diversity in management - but at the end of the day find the number of African-Americans who actually have the ability to hire or influence content falls woefully short of the desired goals,' said NABJ President Barbara Ciara in a statement.
As NABJ noted, the association issued a similar report last year on the stations owned by ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.
"That census found that there were 61 managers of color at the companies' 61 stations, or 16.6%. This year the percentage fell slightly to 15.8% and the only company to increase its percentage of minority managers is NBC," it said.
"Only 6.7% of the managers at the three additional companies studied this year are people of color. Tribune has 62 managers at its 15 stations but only two, or 3.2%, are non-white. Hearst-Argyle is slightly better with 7 managers of color, or 5.9%, of its 119 managers at 26 stations. (Hearst disputes NABJ's findings. The company's position is detailed on page 10) Media General employs 57 managers at its 17 stations, of which 7, or 12.2%, are people of color."
Last month, the Radio-Television News Directors Association released its own annual study of diversity among the television and radio news workforce.
"In the last 19 years, the minority population in the U.S. has risen 8.5 percent; but the minority workforce in TV news is up 4.0 percent, and the minority workforce in radio is actually down. Still, TV news diversity remains far ahead of newspaper," it said.Here are the report's company-by-company results:
ABC owns 10 stations in New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Houston; Raleigh, N.C.; Fresno, Calif.; Flint, Mich.; and Toledo, Ohio. Some 16.4 percent of its 67 managers, or 11, are people of color: Eight African Americans, one Hispanic American and two Asian Americans. The percentage was 19.7 percent in 2008.
"There is no diversity among ABC's general managers or news directors.
"One African American man works as the assistant news director in Los Angeles. The remaining 10 people are executive producers: African American and Asian males in Chicago, 2 African American women and an African American man in Philadelphia, an Asian woman in San Francisco, an African American man, an African American woman and a Hispanic man in Houston and an African American man in Fresno."
"CBS owns 15 news stations in New York, Los Angeles (2), Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento (2), Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
"Ten (12%) of its 83 managers are non-White. All the general managers and news directors are White. Among assistant news directors, there are African American men in Philadelphia and Miami. There is a Hispanic woman managing editor in Miami andan African American woman managing editor in Baltimore. Six executive producers of African, Asian or Hispanic [descent] work inLos Angeles, Dallas or Miami. In 2008 CBS employed 88 managers, of which 13, or 13.6%, were people of color.
"CBS Senior Vice President for Diversity Josie Thomas called President Ciara and said the company is anxious to begin talkswith NABJ to see how the organizations can work together to achieve the mutual goal of a more diverse workforce."
"Fox currently owns and operates 18 stations in New York (2), Los Angeles (2), Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Minneapolis, Detroit, Atlanta, Houston, Tampa, Orlando, Phoenix, Memphis and Austin.
"Of Fox's 101 managers, there are 12 people of color, or 11.8%: 8 African Americans, 3 Hispanic Americans and 1 Asian American. There is an African American general manager in Houston. An African American man, a Hispanic man and an Asian woman work as news directors in Memphis, Los Angeles and Dallas respectively. There are also 8 executive producers: an African American man in New York and African American women in Dallas, Atlanta, Orlando (2) and Memphis; a Hispanic woman in Philadelphia and a Hispanic man in Washington, D.C."
"Hearst Argyle owns 26 stations around the country in large, medium and small markets. There are 119 managers, of which 7 (5.8%) are people of color. There are African American general managers in [Cincinnati] and New Orleans and African American news directors in Milwaukee and Sacramento. In addition, there is an African American managing editor in Pittsburgh and Hispanic executive producers in Honolulu and [Cincinnati].
"Hearst Argyle Vice President of News Brian Bracco does not dispute the numbers but disagrees with the criteria NABJ used toconduct the survey.
"'You did not include assignment managers, operations managers, chief photographers and producers in this mix and I can only tell you that in many of our smaller stations our producers are managers and are making decisions and are, in some cases, charged with hiring replacements,' said Bracco.
"Bracco said, based on what Hearst considers and reports as managers, people of color comprise 17.5% of all newsroom managers and 20.5% of all newsroom personnel.
"'Diversity is part of the fabric of our company. We have gone the extra mile in our outreach and I don't know of another company that has spent the time, effort and wherewithal to make sure our newsrooms reflect our communities.'
"Hearst sponsors and teaches annual producer training workshops at historically Black North Carolina A&T University and in Orlando, Florida that are popular with NABJ members. Some of Hearst's producers have been hired after attending these training sessions and the company's goal is to promote them into management positions in the coming years."
"Media General has 17 stations in Birmingham, Mobile, Tampa, Augusta, Columbus, GA, Savannah, Jackson/Hattiesburg, Greenville,Raleigh, Johnson City, TN, Myrtle Beach, Spartanburg, SC, Providence, Columbus, OH, Charleston and Roanoke.
"There are 57 managers of which 7 (12.2%) are people of color. There is an Asian woman news director in Columbus, GA and anAfrican American woman news director in Raleigh. Among the executive producers there is an Asian man in Savannah, and African American man in Jackson, Black women in Raleigh and Columbus, OH and a Hispanic woman in Charleston."
"NBC owns 10 stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Jose, Washington, D.C., Miami, San Diego and Hartford. It has 59 managers of which 16, or 27.1%, are non-white: 11 African Americans and 5 Hispanic Americans.
"The general managers in Washington, D.C and Los Angeles are African American men. There are African American women news directors in New York and Washington, D.C and the news directors in Chicago and Philadelphia are a Hispanic man and AfricanAmerican man, respectively.
"The assistant news director in Dallas is an African American man. Three of NBC's managing editors are non-white, as are 6 of its executive producers. In 2008, NBC had the same number of managers of color, but it now has 6 fewer managers overall. Itis the only company surveyed last year in which the diversity percentage increased."
"Tribune has 15 stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Denver, Sacramento, St. Louis, Indianapolis, San Diego, Hartford, Grand Rapids, New Orleans and Harrisburg.
"It has 62 managers, of which two (3.2%) are African American executive producers, a man in San Diego and a woman in St. Louis."¬†
Obama Confidant Valerie Jarrett to Speak Before NABJPresident Obama won't be there, but Valerie Jarrett, his senior presidential adviser, will speak at the annual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists in Tampa, Fla., on Friday morning, NABJ announced on Thursday.¬†
Jarrett is scheduled to speak at the NABJ Hall of Fame Banquet and Inductions, and take questions from members of the press immediately following.
Cabinet members Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke are also scheduled to be at the convention.
Jackson takes part in a plenary session, "This Land is Our Land Too: Justice, Jobs, and Environmental Protection," on Friday, while Locke discusses, "The 2010 Census and a Majority Minority Nation," at an afternoon plenary the same day.
As a candidate, Obama spoke at NABJ's 2007 convention in Las Vegas and at the Unity: Journalists of Color assembly in Chicago last year.
- Coverage by NABJ student project
- Walt Belcher, Tampa Tribune: Journalists discuss credibility in the age of social media
- Eric Deggans blog, St. Petersburg Times: NABJ conference, day two: Valerie Jarrett and LeBron James in the house, but TMZ is not
- Rodney Thrash, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: National Association of Black Journalists meets at the Tampa Convention Center
Second Black Harvard Prof Accuses Cambridge Police
"A second black Harvard professor accused the Cambridge police of racism yesterday in wrongfully arresting him outside his home nearly three years ago," Tracy Jan reported Thursday in the Boston Globe.
"S. Allen Counter, a prominent Harvard Medical School professor and head of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, spoke about his arrest on assault and battery charges in an editorial published yesterday with The Bay State Banner. The disclosure follows last month‚Äôs high-profile arrest of renowned African-American scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr."The editorial, by M.B. Miller, began, "Many media commentators called the smackdown on Ware Street in Cambridge a draw. The general assertion is that both Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department were equally at fault. And Middlesex County District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. is characterized as having the Wisdom of Solomon because he dismissed the charges filed against Gates.
"All of these conclusions are substantially flawed."
The Banner returned after suspending publication for financial reasons. In another editorial, the weekly defended¬†its acceptance of a loan from a nonprofit administered by the Boston Redevelopment Authority endorsed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
"Why, then, do critics conclude that the Banner has sacrificed its independence by accepting a loan from the city?" it asked, citing as examples tax breaks awarded the New York Times, whose parent company owns the Boston Globe, and federal money awarded National Public Radio. "That assertion is both inaccurate and insulting to the journalistic courage that the Banner has demonstrated for 44 years."
- CNN: Boston cop who sent 'jungle monkey' e-mail sues
- Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: Professor Gates Should Skip the Blather and Sue
Public Editor's Job Not in Danger, Sulzberger SaysThe New York Times public editor's position is not in danger, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told Journal-isms on Wednesday.¬†
Editor Bill Keller¬†told Editor & Publisher that the future of the public editor position is "much debated within our walls," Editor & Publisher reported¬†Wednesday.¬†¬†Keller was defending television critic¬†Alessandra Stanley¬†after public editor¬†Clark Hoyt¬†reported Sunday that Stanley had had so many corrections that she was assigned her own copy editor.
Sulzberger, asked at a reception at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Tampa, Fla., whether the position was in any danger, replied simply, "no."
The public editor's position was created in 2003 as one of the reforms the Times implemented in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal. Blair fabricated and plagiarized, ultimately forcing the resignation of executive editor Howell Raines and managing editor Gerald Boyd.
The public editor is "the readers' representative."
Jubilant Journalists Back From N. KoreaAugust 5, 2009
American journalist Laura Ling tells reporters Wednesday that when she and fellow prisoner Euna Lee saw former president Bill Clinton, they knew "the nightmare of our lives was finally coming to an end." They were imprisoned in North Korea for 140 days. (Credit: NBC News)
Lisa Ling: My Sister Said There Were Rocks in Her Rice"Two American journalists jubilantly reunited with family and friends early Wednesday upon returning to the United States with former President Bill Clinton, whose diplomatic trip to North Korea secured their release nearly five months after their arrests," Robert Jablon reported Wednesday for the Associated Press.
"The jet carrying Euna Lee and Laura Ling, reporters for Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV, and Clinton arrived at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport at dawn. Clinton met with communist leader Kim Jong Il on Tuesday to secure the women's release.
"Lee emerged from the jetliner first and was greeted by husband Michael Saldate and 4-year-old daughter Hana. She hugged the girl and picked her up before all three embraced in a crushing hug as TV networks beamed the poignant moment live.
"Ling embraced her husband, Iain Clayton, as teary family members crowded around.
"'The past 140 days have been the most difficult, heart-wrenching days of our lives,' Ling said, her voice cracking.
"Thirty hours ago, Ling said, 'We feared that any moment we could be sent to a hard labor camp.'
"Then, she said, they were taken to another location."
"'When we walked through the doors, we saw standing before us President Bill Clinton,' she said to applause. 'We were shocked but we knew instantly in our hearts that the nightmare of our lives was finally coming to an end, and now we stand here, home and free.'
"Clinton came down the stairs to applause. He hugged Gore, then chatted with family members.
"Gore described the families of the two women as 'unbelievable, passionate, involved, committed, innovative.' . . .
"After 140 days in custody, the reporters were granted a pardon by North Korea on Tuesday, following rare talks between Clinton and the reclusive North Korea leader. They had been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for entering the country illegally.
"The women were kept in enforced isolation and fed poor-quality food, Ling's sister said.
"'They were kept apart most of the time. . . . On the day of their trial, they hugged each other and that was it,' Lisa Ling told reporters outside her sister's home in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.
"'She's really, really anxious to have fresh fruit and fresh food. She said there were rocks in her rice. Obviously, it's a country that has a lot of economic problems.
"'The little bit that she was able to recount of her experience of the last 4 1/2 months has been challenging for us to hear,' Lisa Ling said. 'She's my little sister but she's a very, very strong girl and a determined person.'
Lisa Ling, the reporter for "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "National Geographic Explorer," spoke briefly to the media this morning outside her sister's California home.
"We are gonna go have a little powwow at home," she said, according to the NECN cable network.
"We are gonna stuff her with food that she loves."
Sharon Chan, national president of the Asian American Journalists Association, said, "We deeply appreciate the efforts both sides made to bring these two journalists home. We are grateful to everyone who supported Lee and Ling, and kept their story alive."
"As working journalists, a number of members have kept the public informed with updated news stories since the detention of Lee and Ling in March. In addition, members not actively covering the story from AAJA chapters in San Francisco, Sacramento, Arizona, Chicago and Washington, D.C., joined with community efforts to advocate for the release of Lee and Ling," the organization said.
- Susan Davis, Wall Street Journal: Obama Praises Clinton, Gore for ‚ÄòExtraordinary Effort‚Äô
N.Y. Times Editor Defends Oft-Corrected Critic"Alessandra Stanley, the media critic at The New York Times whose recent string of errors in a Walter Cronkite piece has drawn criticism and a harsh rebuke from the paper's public editor, is 'a brilliant critic,' by Executive Editor Bill Keller, Joe Strupprreported Wednesday in Editor & Publisher.
"In comments to James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times ‚Äî who wrote a piece today claiming some Times 'stars' are given too much leeway, Rainey cited comments from a Q&A he conducted with Keller via e-mail.
"But most of the Keller comments were not used as Rainey focused on comments from former Times public editors and other named Times newsroom staffers.
"When asked by E&P for comment on Stanley, Keller said he had made all of the comments he wanted to on the subject ‚Äî and sent E&P the entire Rainey Q&A.
"In that full document, Keller defends The New York Times' correction practices; says that any editor who fails to confront a writer about an error because of the writer's supposed status is failing to do their job; and admits the future of the public editor position is 'much debated within our walls.'
"On Stanley's future, Keller writes: 'As a general rule, we don't talk about sanctions or disciplinary actions involving our employees. As is pretty clear from Clark's column, Alessandra's columns will get more careful scrutiny, which worked well in the past.'"
- Mark Potts, Recovering Journalist blog: Get It Right the First Time
August 4, 2009
Native American Journalists Drew 140 RegistrantsThe Native American Journalists Association's 25th anniversary convention last week in Albuquerque, N.M., drew 140 registrants, NAJA president Ronnie Washines told Journal-isms on Tuesday. He said it "may be more my fault" that the gathering "maybe was not as newsworthy to warrant local coverage by any media forum."
Washines added by e-mail:
"NAJA membership has grown to around 740 members, an increase of over 100 since last conference. NAJA generated conference revenue exceeding expenses. This year's fund raising was bolstered by a benefit golf event, which had nearly 80 golfers turn out.
"Navajo Times' publisher, Tom Arviso did an excellent job coordinating the event, with a majority of the sponsorship coming from Navajo Nation entities.
"The local planning committee, volunteers and NAJA administrative staff put a lot into preliminary conference work, led by local planning committee chairwoman, Shirley LaCourse (daughter of the late Richard V. LaCourse - considered by NAJA as The Dean of Native American journalism). Shirley is not in journalism, but lives and works in Albuquerque and stepped up to chair the local committee on behalf of her father and NAJA.
"NAJA honored its founders in a special recognition event ‚Äî about ten were in attendance.
"Three NAJA board member seats were up for election and NAPT's Shirley Sneve was re-elected," a reference to Native American Public Telecommunications. "NAJA welcomed Andy Harvey of New Mexico and Brett Merrill out of Oregon as new board members. The board re-seated Ronnie Washines as their chairman; Rhonda Lavaldo as the vice chairwoman; Sneve takes over as treasurer; and Antonia Gonzales is the new secretary. Other board members are Minnie Two Shoes, Lori Edmo-Suppah and Christina Good Voice. Those attending included people who had the foresight back in 1984 to launch the then-Native American Press Association; the ones that have brought NAJA to this point and those students NAJA prays will take over and lead NAJA into the future.
"We had the past, present and future come together to mark 25 years of furthering NAJA's intent and purpose.
"Sadly, and this may be more my fault, the NAJA gathering in Albuquerque maybe was not as newsworthy to warrant local coverage by any media forum.
"NAJA will be in Minneapolis for their 2010 conference. No dates or actual site have been confirmed up yet, but that should take place within the next month or so."
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