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ASNE: “Loss in Minority Newsroom Positions Was 5.7%”





by Richard Prince

The loss of journalists of color in newspaper and online newsrooms outstripped the decline of journalists overall in 2011, according to the annual diversity census of the American Society of News Editors, released on Wednesday.

“The total newsroom employment at daily newspapers declined by 2.4 percent in 2011, while the loss in minority newsroom positions was 5.7 percent,” ASNE said. Ronnie Agnew, who co-chairs ASNE’s Diversity Committee, said in announcing the results, “It’s not just the numbers that are going down, there’s a nuance that’s going to be missed . . . with the shortage of people” lost to “this wonderful, wonderful profession.”

Agnew pointed to the killing of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teenager, as an example.

“African American people are having to go to alternative media sources to get the news coverage they are looking for. It’s a content issue,” said Agnew, executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting and former executive editor of the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss.(Read More in Journal-isms)

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