Editorial: Diversity in Journalism & the 2012 Election
Recently, the Fourth Estate Project released this infographic depicting the breakdown of newsroom diversity and its relationship to front-page reporting for the upcoming primary election.
According to the data, an overwhelming 93% of front-page election stories this year have been reported by white journalists. The Atlantic was quick to point out that, considering all the talk and speculation about the impact of racial and ethnic minorities in the upcoming election, why aren’t there more members of these minorities reporting these stories?
As a journalism student, I’m not surprised by these statistics. I can clearly see the racial gap in my classrooms, and I’m frankly not sure if the demographics of newsrooms will ever change towards a more politically correct makeup. But I also know that even if writing by minority journalists doesn’t appear on the front pages of major news outlets, it doesn’t mean their reporting on key election issues is nowhere to be found. Ultimately, it is this void of minority representation in the mainstream media that publications like ALIST, Hyphen, Latino Perspectives, EBONY, and others aim to fill: we share the stories of those who don’t make up the demographic majority of this nation and connect with the audiences more often than not ignored by the mainstream media.
ALIST is committed to helping the Asian American community grow in a number ways–by championing the success of Asian American individuals and sharing those stories with those both in- and outside of our community, by connecting likeminded individuals, and by encouraging our community to do more. That’s why, in addition to the regular columns, editorials, and features on our site, we’ve partnered with 18 Million Rising to help get more people registered and pledged to vote. We’ve also made ourselves the Asian American Voters’ Hub for the 2012 election. It’s there you’ll find all the news about Asian Americans and our role in the upcoming election, including news stories written by Asian American journalists.
Later this week, the speculation about the role of minority voters in the 2012 election will come to an end, and with it will come not only the results deciding our nation’s fate for the next four years but also a measure of the strength of the Asian American vote. On Nov. 7, I will be delighted if the presidential candidate I voted for won, but I might be even happier if, somewhere, on some front page, there is a headline that reads something along the lines of “Record Turnout of Asian American Voters in 2012 Election.”