The latest RTNDA/Hofstra survey of women and minorities in local news shows women have made gains while the percentage of journalists of color has fallen from last year.
The percentage of women working in local television and radio news reached a new high, according to the RTNDA/Hofstra survey of women and minorities in local news. The survey also showed that the percentage of journalists of color working in local radio and television news fell, led by a 10 percent drop in the number of Hispanic staff working for Hispanic television stations.
The 2009 RTNDA/Hofstra University Annual Survey shows that minorities made up 21.8 percent of local television news staff, a decrease from 23.6 percent in 2008.
Asian American journalists in the broadcast news workforce increased, while the percentage of Native American journalists remained the same.
African Americans working in local news decreased by half a percentage point.
The percentage of Hispanics in local news fell from 10.3 last year to 8.8 this year. At non-Hispanic stations, the minority workforce was down by half a percentage point to 19.6 percent.
In local radio, news was mixed with Asian American and Native American numbers up and African American and Hispanic numbers down.
The percentage of minority television news directors dropped slightly in 2009 with the sharpest decline in Hispanic news directors. Measurement of minority news directors in radio fluctuates each year based on which stations complete the survey.
At 41.4 percent, women in the television news workforce reached an all-time high, as did women television news directors, 29.1 percent. The number of women working in radio also increased from 22.7 last year to 28.1 percent in 2009. Women make up 27.7 percent of radio news directors.
“While the increase in the number of women serving as news director is encouraging, the drop in the percentage of minorities employed in newsrooms is not,” said RTNDA Chairman Stacey Woelfel. “It is my hope the gains made in the last few years to make our newsrooms more diverse were not lost in the recent economic downturn. RTNDA is committed to working with our partners at the minority journalism associations to make sure all owners and managers know the value of putting more journalists of color in their newsrooms.”