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What Newsroom Management Can Do to Avoid Steretyopes

November 1, 1994
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Related Topics: Diversity, Featured Article
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Here are afew things management can do to avoid stereotypes:

  • Redefine and expand your concepts of what constitutes news.
  • Don't just assign negative stories about minorities and ignore the positive ones.
  • Don't send minority reporters out to cover race-related stories and then assign white reporters to write the stories.
  • Before and after a story, have an informal checklist of a story's cultural implications.
  • Diversity is a long-term commitment to change. Don't just focus on diversity when it's black history month or Cinco de Mayo.
  • Management can conduct content audits that help bring the media face to face with bias and point out institutional blind spots. How often are minorities quoted? How many minority bylines are there? Where are stories about minorities often played? Publish the findings.
  • Make diversity a companywide commitment. Managers need to see diversity as an asset.
  • News organizations can host race awareness seminars, develop diversity forums online and have forums open to the public to educate readers about how news organizations work.
  • Ask readers what they think about coverage; encourage open dialogue with the community.

SOURCE: News Watch, a Unity '94 project co-sponsored by: Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism; Asian American Journalists Association; National Association of Black Journalists; National Association of Hispanic Journalists; and Native American Journalists Association

Personnel Journal, November 1994, Vol. 73, No.11, p. 109.

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