Someone should start a newspaper to report on newspapers. (Please, no Brian Tierney jokes.)
Ever since I was a wee little intern at a certain alt-weekly here in Philly, I’ve wanted to get my hands on stats that tell me the racial makeup of newsrooms of local papers. (Yes, I was the lone raisin floating in a sea of oatmeal. It’s all good. No worries. I can handle it ;) ).
Forget television. I don’t watch that stuff :P Plus, now there’s Lydia Han and that hot Indian chick. (Who is perfect beyond belief, not sure what I can learn from that.) Whatever, TV’s another post for another time.
Back to print. I seem to remember a big uproar about the Philadelphia Inquirer’s spate of firings way back when.
But forget that. We all know the Inquirer is evil. (Sorry. Nothing personal.) I want to know about City Paper and Philadelphia Weekly. And maybe the Philadelphia Gay News. Also Philadelphia magazine. What else am I missing?
Minorities choose fields other than journalism. Why? More lucrative? Better marketing? There’s definitely gotta be more diversity at bigger newspapers, though. The fact that only the biggest newspapers can afford paid internships? (It does take a certain type of person to spend three months essentially volunteering for a newspaper. I say a good, intelligent person, but it sure did hurt at the time.)
I just know I was startled that the second newsroom I worked at was more vanilla than NoLibs after gentrification. It just wasn’t the Philadelphia I knew and had grown up in. It was more like a Main Line/out-of-towner/rich kid fest. (NOT that there’s anything wrong with the Main Line. Or being an out-of-towner. Or being rich.)
Perhaps that was just shock. After all, my first internship was hardly typical.
I say all-out recruitment! Oh, and minority mentors. Hard to find though, I’m betting. But I can almost guarantee that without mentors, minority kids are going to be hard-pressed to stay. It’s hard to be invested in something you can’t relate to.
That’s why I like those little head shots besides articles.
Boy that makes me sound like such a closet racist.
But this is as much to minority readers as it is to newspaper folks. Stop whining and work at representing your community brown/black/yellow/green kids!
Ron Patel. Now there’s a dude who repped. And that was back in the 70’s.
Personally, I know all of one journalism major who is desi. And it’s not me. (But it is one of my bloggers :) )
So little desi ones. Forget medicine. Engineering. All those STEM careers your parents are trying to get you to do.
Join me the failing field of journalism!