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News isn't good for minorities

The minority work force in TV and radio news was down in 2003 for the second
year in a row. That’s according to the latest Radio and Television News
Directors Association/Ball State University survey.

In addition, the survey concluded, "over the past nine years, there has been
no consistent, meaningful change in the percentage of minorities in TV

The number of minorities in the TV work force actually went up, but new hires
overall increased at a greater rate, so the percentage dropped.

Radio’s was a drop either way you look at it, although the percentage of
African Americans was up over the year before.

In its Communicator magazine, in a story headlined: "Women &
Minorities: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back," the RTNDA characterized the radio
decrease as a "relentless slide, whose beginning it attributed to the FCC’s [Federal Communications Commission's]
elimination of its EEO [equal-employment-opportunity] rules" (a new version of those rules have since been

For the TV-news work force as a whole, the percentage of African Americans
dropped from 9.3% in 2002 to 8.4%; for Hispanics, the number dropped from 7.7%
to 6.5%; Asian Americans dipped from 3.1% to 2.7%.

For radio, the percentage of African Americans was actually up, from 4.1% in
2002 to 4.8% in 2003, but that was more than offset by the 50% drop in the
Hispanic work force, from 2.4% to 1.2%; the more-than-50% drop in Asian
Americans, from 0.8% to 0.3%; and the decline in native Americans from 0.7% to 0.2%.

The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2002 (although the numbers gleaned
are tabbed 2003) among 1,421 TV stations (890 supplied valid responds)
and a random sample of 1,490 radio stations (445 responses).