The next time you read your favorite newspaper or magazine, take a moment to think about how diverse it is. The information we receive through our media is important because it shapes the culture we live in today. America is a country that has many colors, shapes, and religions, therefore what we hear on the radio and see on TV should reflect that. Diversity is not just adding a black person to the roster. It is blacks, Hispanics, Asian, women, older people and people of different sizes. It’s time that these media outlets hire people that look like their audience and not like their owners.
There are five primary reasons why Diversity in the media is important for people who dabble in the media atmosphere.
- Headlines: Recent events like the Black lives matter protest, police shootings, and the presidential election have begun to expose a biased media. Every newspaper and radio station own a social media page; their headlines seem to look more like click bait and not news. The most recently, an article named Michael Phelps but decided to call Simone Manuel, an African-American without using her name.
- Leadership roles: Having a diverse media opens up opportunities for non-white males to hold positions of leadership. It is one thing to hire an array of people with different backgrounds but also that a company promotes them too. Buzzfeed and Cox Media group are well known to practice inclusion in all areas of their business.
- Trust: Most people today have a love-hate relationship with the press. When a nightly news program doesn’t reflect its audience, then it doesn’t seem real or relatable. Imagine If you are watching a news program in Tampa and not a single person on camera is of Latino descent. People want their stories told by a media that also looks like them.
- Future Journalist/Actors: Kids take the time to notice things that are on TV too. When our children see more people on tv that look like them, they will aspire to pursue careers in news, tv, and radio. We are always seeing that some little girls are signing up for gymnastic and swimming classes right now because of all the women who won gold medals at the Olympics last week.
- Money: Money is the number one reason because this isn’t the 90’s anymore and a show like friends would never survive. Shows like, Scandal, Fresh off the Boat, Jane the Virgin are great examples of shows that are diverse and signing on to second, third and fourth seasons. You see more ads like Cheerios, Mcdonald’s and Apple hiring a multitude of diversity in their commercials. Many Newspapers are even creating beats dedicated to race and diversity coverage.
It is sad when less than 25% of media outlets include people of diverse backgrounds when these are the same companies in charge of informing a diverse pool of consumers.
Written by: Deprina Godboldo, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic