The Importance of Diversity
Rev. Derrick Boykin, Bread for the World's associate for African-American leadership outreach, prepares for an interview. (Photo by Racine Tucker-Hamilton/Bread for the World)
by Susanne Ramirez de Arellano
Newsroom diversity is necessary. It is the driving force behind the honest and hard hitting reporting that is needed to effectively tackle issues such as hunger and poverty. At this year’s Unity conference—the fifth gathering of journalists of color—the hit taken by diversity in the media due to the recession was a central theme, alongside the shifting landscape and the digital frontier.
We exist in a Darwinian media whose architecture is expanding into different platforms with a rapidity that is stunning and at times confusing. Immediacy, flexibility, and mobility are the sons and daughters of the new technology.
Hunger and poverty take a heavy toll on minority communities. This is especially true during periods of economic hardship. In times such as these, it is crucial that we encourage and foster a diverse media. We must protect journalists who know the story because, in many cases, they have lived it. “Stories are about people. And the news is about people. People make the news,” ABC News anchor Peter Jennings used to say. Those telling their stories should be familiar with their plight and hold them equal in value.
Susanne Ramirez de Arellano handles Hispanic media outreach for Bread for the World.
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