Howard Kurtz reports on the White House giving access to journalists who have been ignored in the past: reporters of color from minority outlets. President Obama has spoken with Telemundo, CNN En Espanol, and his first print interview after taking office, Kurtz reports, was with Black Enterprise magazine. Apparently White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is all on board with the idea too.
This is good news for media in general (though Kurtz notes the president “is broadening the circle of access to include more sympathetic outlets”): a USA Today piece from last year put minority journalists’ numbers pretty low:
- At TV stations: 24%
- In radio: 12%
- In print media: 13.5%.
(This percentage seems to encompass both those working in mainstream media and niche ethnic media.)
Then there’s the pragmatic view, as taken by Howard Adamsky, a recruiter with 20 years experience. He writes:
Say goodbye to political correctness. Your services are not being used to be politically correct. The promotion of fairness is a fool’s errand. You client is depending on you to support the acquisition of the very best candidate. End of story. Discriminate with passionate abandon against anyone who is not qualified to do the job and let HR sweat the numbers. Do this one thing and you can rest assured that you are doing your job.
So which is it? Do desperate times call for desperate measures? Or is now more than ever a time to recruit diversity to your newsrooms? Does Obama’s inclusive attitude even matter?