Diversity on the Big Screen and Local Front Page | Ty Ronconi

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When it comes to diversity on the national news media circuit, I would say as a nation we could do more to feature different types of people within the field, especially when discussing issues that directly impact these underrepresented groups. Many of the primetime news shows on television feature hosts that are middle aged white males, with groups such as African Americans being less represented. With ongoing cultural stories such as the topic of Black Lives Matter, it would be beneficial to everyone to have more African Americans involved with media. They would be able to present the issue in a way that perhaps a white man or even a female newscaster would not think of. This does not mean that biases should come into play, but simply, different members of different societal groups may be better able to understand a certain issue, and may be able to ask more thought provoking, poignant, or more engaging questions in general.

As America as a nation grows to be more diverse, and demographics of different groups are changing, the faces of our media should represent the faces of society. Not only would this better suit the variety of stores covered, but it would inspire the next generation to want to pursue journalism for themselves. With over half of the population of infants being minorities, now and predicted through 2020, it is important that all races of people can picture themselves in any job, position, or dream that they can imagine.

When it comes to diversity in my local media, the hyper-local newspapers of my little community features an all-white staff for the town that is over 95% white. However, half of the workers are female. The editor (the boss of my fiancée who works there) has said that any chance he has to feature diverse elements in his newspaper, he takes it. For example, photos of children on the first day of school last month featured photos of white, black, and Hispanic children – male and female – all in the same story, with something for everyone.

Though some local media featuring local people may naturally be homogenous, it is a step in the right direction for these media outlets to at least be cognizant, sensitive, and aware of diversity in the field. Slowly but surely we can be sure to work toward a more inclusive media future, which will be better in terms of both coverage and culture.