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Percentage of women and minorities increases in TV newsrooms

The percentage of minorities and women working in local TV news rose in 2007, as did the percentage of both groups in newsroom leadership positions, according to a survey released July 21 by the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA).

The 2008 RTNDA/Hofstra University annual survey shows that minorities comprised 23.6 percent of local TV news staffs, an increase from the 21.5 percent result in 2006 and the second highest percentage since the peak in 2001. The number of Asian-Americans, Native Americans and Hispanic journalists all increased, while the number of black journalists remained steady at 10.1 percent of the workforce.

At non-Hispanic stations, the minority workforce was 20.1 percent, an increase of the previous year’s 19.4 percent. Asian-American and black journalists gained ground, while the number of Hispanic and Native American journalists remained the same.

The percentage of minority TV news directors reached an all-time high of 15.5 percent, up from 10.9 percent in 2006.

At 40.2 percent, there was no significant change in the percentage of women in the TV news workforce in 2007, but the number of female news directors reached an all-time high of 28.3 percent. Women are as likely to be found as news directors in the largest markets as in the smallest — something that has not been the case in the past.

The association published the survey in the July/August issue of Communicator, RTNDA’s monthly magazine.

To read the complete results of the survey, including the findings for radio newsrooms, visit