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Reversing declines in minority journalists: A community-based approach in East Palo Alto

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Media organizations in many parts of the world seek to have their staffs reflect the make-up of the communities they serve. In April 2011, the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) reported that the number of journalists of colour working in newspaper and online newsrooms declined for the third consecutive year. Findings revealed that while minorities represent 36% of the US population, they account for only 12.79% of journalists working in newspaper newsrooms (ASNE 2011). This qualitative study investigates the unique approach underway in East Palo Alto, designed to alter a backward-sliding trend in the numbers of minorities entering the journalism profession. Through field observations and one-on-one interviews with programme participants, instructors and advisors, this study examines how academic and extracurricular choices made while in high school can affect students’ perceptions about possible futures. Specifically, it looks at the efficacy of an off-campus approach to altering a school’s dominant culture.
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Keywords: diversity; employment; equity; hiring; inclusion; journalism; minority

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Oregon

Publication date: 01 December 2014

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