National Institute on Aging

Report Examines Racial Diversity in the Nation’s Newsrooms

A new study from the Pew Research Center offers data on Black journalists. The study found that nationwide, only 6 percent of all reporting journalists in the United States are Black.

The survey of nearly 12,000 working U.S.-based journalists found that Blacks make up just 5 percent of journalists who covered sports, lower than the Black percentage of reporting journalists nationwide. Some 15 percent of all reporters who concentrate on social issues and public policy are Black and 8 percent of journalists who covered local and state news are Black.

In contrast, only 3 percent of all journalists whose primary beat is science are Black. Blacks are 2 percent of all reporters whose primary focus is on the environment or energy.

“As issues of diversity and inclusion in the workspace gain heightened attention around the country,” the report states, “only 32 percent say their organization has reached sufficient racial and ethnic diversity. And fewer than half of respondents (42 percent) characterize addressing issues around diversity and inclusion as a major priority for their newsroom.”

About two-thirds of all journalists say their colleagues generally are treated fairly regardless of their race and ethnicity. But only 53 percent of Black journalists agree. About a third of Black journalists say that everyone at their organization is not treated fairly regardless of their race and ethnicity

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