07.21.2004 12:00 PM
Survey finds diversity in local TV, radio newsrooms on the rise

Racial diversity in local television and radio newsrooms grew slightly last year, while the percentage of women working in the electronic media workforce stayed about the same, and the number of female news directors dipped slightly.

According the 2004 RTNDA/Ball State University study, diversity is up in newsrooms and local radion stations. Chart courtesy of RTNDA. Information from the 2004 RTNDA/Ball State University. Click here to view an enlarged diagram.

According to the 2004 RTNDA/Ball State University annual study, 21.8 percent of local television news staffs in 2003 were minorities, compared with 18.1 percent in 2002 and 20.6 percent in 2001. In local radio, the minority workforce rose to 11.6 percent in 2003 from 6.5 percent in 2002.

The percentage of minority TV news directors was 12.5 percent in 2003, compared with 6.6 percent in 2002. In radio, the percentage of minority news directors rose from five percent to eight percent.

The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2003. All 1295 operating, non-satellite television stations and a random sample of 1482 radio stations were surveyed. Valid responses came from 838 television stations (64.7 percent) and 133 radio news directors and general managers representing 437 radio stations. Data for women TV news directors is a complete census and is not projected from a smaller sample.

The percentage of women in the workforce in 2003 was 39.1 percent, compared to 39.3 percent in 2002. The percentage of women news directors dropped to 25.2 last year from 26.5 percent in 2002.

The percentage of women in radio news dipped to 22.4 percent in 2003 from 24 percent in 2002, but the percentage of women radio news directors increased to 25.9 percent from 14.4 percent.

The complete survey is available www.rtnda.org/diversity/Diversity2004.pdf.

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