You are on page 1of 6

Jordan Giza

Principles of Journalism
Final Essay

American journalism has been on a roller coaster ride from the beginning; witnessing
great breakthroughs, as well as what seemed like spiraling downfalls. Although newspaper
companies have made significant progress in the last decade with the diversity among their
newsrooms, I believe there is still a lack of perspective made by specific social groups, and that
must be addressed. Considering that America has clearly changed for the better since the mid-tolate 1900s when it comes to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, etc. Due to advancements
in technology, or a lack of focus in certain areas, there are other groups or perspectives that are
now being left out in the newsroom, which never used to be. Pluralism in journalism should be
conceptualized as something that can continuously be improved, and not be something thats
thought of as good enough or satisfactory.
There have been improvements among newsrooms and whos representing their company
starting decades ago; two of the most important changes within newsrooms were when women,
and African-Americans were given equal rights, and allowed the same privileges as white
reporters and journalists. After this movement began, it was a huge breakthrough that led to other
opportunities for citizens who wanted journalism to be there future profession.
Beginning with race, there was an obvious issue in America and the opportunities those
with a different ethnicity other than Caucasian were being given. This problem leaked into the
level of involvement colored people would be allowed in newsrooms for an extended period of
time during the 1900s, and even the early 2000s. When put into perspective, the reason of why
not to have diversity among a newsroom doesnt add up. If you want to serve the people of
America in the proper way, then you would provide them with news thats being covered by a
variety of people who form different biases and opinions.

In class, we recently discussed the example of the nine black students from Little Rock,
Arkansas, who tried to go to school, even though nearly everyone involved didnt want to see
those nine children be given the opportunity to attend the same schools as white children. The
level of racism was so intense that the people wanted to storm the school to make sure the
students werent in there. From the perspective of a newsroom during a time like this, you would
think that the newsrooms would want to have enough diversity so they could send an AfricanAmerican reporter to interview the families of the black children. Since the chances of anyone in
the families of the children wanting to talk to a white reporter were so low, the ability to send a
black reporter would allow the newsroom to receive information they would never get with a
white reporter.
Another point of progress among diversity in the newsroom is the opportunity women are
receiving, and how its come to the point now in 2014, women are almost more dominant than
men are when it comes to getting interviews, especially in sport. An article we discussed in class
by Nan Robertson explained the disadvantages women faced during the 1900s, and how women
were looked at as the scum of journalism. The article continues to elaborate on how women with
tremendous skills and ideas were given jobs for people that werent even half as qualified as they
were. However, when a newspaper company wants to cover a story on birth control, or abortion,
having the ability to interview women with other women, presents a way for the company to gain
more information on the topic than they ever would have with a male reporter.
The importance of having diversity among the newsroom is something that I believe is
finally starting to be understood, because everyone affiliated with journalism realizes that in
order to receive the information you want, people want to feel as if the person theyre talking to
can compare to what is being said. Like the examples Ive already stated in order to paint a

clearer picture, a woman would want to explain the issues of abortion to another woman, in the
same sense a person of color would want to discuss issues of race with someone that can relate.
Another reason why diversity among the newsroom is important is because newspapers and
news stations need to cover the variety of issues that are occurring around the country so that the
adequate information is being provided for the people. The progression of having diversity
within newsrooms has forced the profession to evolve into something where covering the news
from all angles is a must, which is the most ideal situation for everyone. By covering all the
diverse issues arising around the country, it makes everyone aware of what is happening; if
everyone is aware of what is happening then the beginning stages of a properly flowing
democracy can begin. Politicians know people are aware of these issues, and that will lead to
them proposing options they believe would solve those issues.
In class, we also discussed how religion can have an impact on what is being covered,
and if its being covered properly. For example, during the war with Iraq, the ability to cover
stories of what life is like in the Middle East is hard to cover adequately unless you can relate to
the people who are in living in that environment everyday. Luckily, the New York Times is a
newspaper company that recognizes this issue, and has had journalists who are of that ethnicity
cover a good amount of the stories, as well as other journalists who arent; which means that the
Times are covering these stories from a variety of angles providing multiple perspectives. This is
only one example of something being done right, but there are still plenty of religions that arent
being represented in the newsroom, and this could cause future issues.
Although there has been a successful push for diversity among newsrooms, there are still
areas that arent being focused on, and these blind spots cause other issues to arise. For example,
in class we discussed how people with disabilities arent being represented in the newsroom; and

the likelihood of a journalist, reporter, etc. being able to relate to the lifestyle of someone with a
disability isnt good. By not being able to relate to the people with these issues, ideas of how to
solve the issues they face everyday arent becoming aware to the public, which has a trickle
down affect falling on the shoulders of those with the disabilities.
An issue thats gained a lot of popularity during the past few years in America is
homosexuality. Exactly like the other examples Ive provided, the importance of being able to
relate to those going through the adversity of being different is imperative to being able to
receive the information needed to cover the topic sufficiently.
Another issue that is just beginning, due to the advancement of technology, is the
representation of older people in newsrooms. A lot of newsrooms realize that the future of news
is shifting toward social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogging. This means that
newspapers are looking for more youthful journalists who are familiar with how to properly
work with these social networks, and people who have been working as journalists for two, or
maybe even three decades are being bought out so the younger journalists can replace them. This
raises the issue similar to the people with disabilities not being represented, except now its older
senior citizens not being represented.
Overall, having diversity among the newsroom is important because by having diversity
it allows the people of America to be provided with the information needed to become aware of
all the issues that are occurring. Whether those issues are of social class, economics, culture, etc.
they are issues that must be covered, and the only way those will be covered is by having
diversity in the newsroom. Journalism has come a long way from what it used to be, but there are
still issues that need to be addressed, and issues that will arise in the future. This is why

pluralism in journalism needs to be conceptualized as something that can always continue to get
better and improve; it shouldnt ever be thought of as a problem thats fixed.
This paper meets the requirements for the US Pluralisms credit by covering multiple
issues among the newsroom, such as: race, ethnicity, sex/gender, age, ability, and religion.
Providing examples from the past, and the present, this paper shows that this class has taught me
how to think outside of the box, and the importance of keeping other perspectives in mind. This
paper discusses issues that have occurred in the past due to a lack of diversity in the newsroom,
by using the example of the Little Rock, Arkansas school children, and the example from Nan
Robertson, its clear that this paper covers the historical construction of marginality through a
theoretical lens. This class has given me the opportunity to recognize the number of issues
around the country, and the importance of having diversity among the newsroom.