Washington, - There are more women news directors than ever, according to the latest figures from the Radio-Television News Directors Association. The percentage of minority news directors also is up slightly, even though there's a slight decrease in the percentage of minorities overall.
Among the survey highlights:
Minorities now hold 20.6 per cent of all jobs in television news, including those at Spanish-language stations. That's down from 24.6 per cent last year but slightly above 2000 results. In radio, minorities hold eight per cent of all news jobs, down from 10.7 per cent in 2001.
Minorities hold 19 per cent of all jobs in English-language television newsrooms, down from 21.8 per cent last year. The percentage of minority news directors at television stations rose to 9.2 per cent, up from eight per cent last year. In radio, minorities make up 5.1 per cent of news directors, up from 4.4 per cent in 2001.
Minorities hold 5.2 per cent of general manager jobs in television and 3.8 per cent in radio.
Women make up 38.6 percent of the television news work force, down slightly from last year's 39.7 per cent. And women hold 32.5 per cent of all jobs in radio news, down from 37.4 per cent in 2001.
The percentage of women news directors in television is at 25.9 per cent, up from 20.2 per cent last year, and two percent above the previous record. In radio, the percentage of women news directors rose to 22.3 per cent from 21.9 percent in 2001.
Women hold 13 per cent of general manager jobs in television and 11 per cent in radio.
"It's good news that women and minorities are increasing their numbers in management ranks," says Barbara Cochran, RTNDA president. "But the decline in total staff percentages is a cause for concern. We will continue to watch these numbers closely and help news organizations diversify their staffs."
Why are minority numbers down from last year? There are two possibilities, says Bob Papper, the Ball State University professor who conducted the research with colleague Michael Gerhard. "First, last year's data could simply represent a statistical anomaly. We're always at the mercy of those who return the survey, and last year's sample could have over-represented the minority population," says Papper. "Another possibility is that the downturn in the economy has hurt minority numbers: As minority journalists moved up in market size, stations were unable to replace them. That could lead to an overall drop in percentage."
RTNDA published the RTNDA/Ball State University Women & Minorities Survey in the July/August issue of Communicator. Visit http://www.rtnda.org/research/womin.shtml for complete survey results.
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