How Diverse Are DC Area Newsrooms?

The state of the newspaper industry is...

The American Society of News Editors (ASNE), in collaboration this year with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University, came out today with its annual newsroom census. The results, as you can imagine, are kind of a downer.

Some lowlights:

  • Census results revealed 32,900 journalists who are working full time, down from the previous year’s 36,700, about a 10 percent drop.
  • In this, the second year the census tracked people of color in leadership positions, their ranks have dropped by 3 percent. Currently, just 12 percent of organizations participating in the census report having a person of color in one of the top three editor spots. 63 percent have women in one of the top three spots.
  • The overall percentage of journalists of color, 12.76 percent, is about the same as in the leadership ranks. It is a .58 percent decrease from the previous year.

As for the two major Washington metro area organizations that participated, The Washington Post and USA Today, both had better-than-average percentages of people of color in their newsrooms.

31 percent of Post staff are people of color, while 19 percent of USA Today’s staff are. At 14.3 percent, Black people make up the largest subset at the Post, while at USA Today it is Asian Americans, comprising 6.9 percent of staff.

Complete results are here.