African-American Participation In Newsrooms May Be Lagging If Internship Participation Is Any Indicator

Out of the New York Times’ class of 2010 summer interns, not one is African American, bemoans Richard Prince in his column, Journal-isms.

“What we really need is a deeper pool of candidates,” NYT senior editor Dana Canedy told Journal-isms. “Of about 600 applications for this summer I estimate that we had only about two dozen African American candidates.”

Same story at Stanford, where twelve journalists were chosen to study under John S. Knight fellowships: nine African American applicants out of 133 total.

On the bright side for diversity, four of the twelve Knight fellowship recipients were journalists of color, and applications from journalists of color increased.

And the NYT intern class includes “several people of color,” according to Canedy.

Why is race a big deal? As UNITY, the umbrella organization encompassing NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA, and NAJA, says: “The journalism industry has an obligation to deliver a complete, fair and representative picture of the communities and world in which we live. In order to achieve this, diversity in the newsroom and in coverage is fundamental.”