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Progress Slow for Women, Minorities in Journalism

Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism inducted five women journalists to its Hall of Achievement on Monday. The honorees-all Medill alumnae-include Ellen Soeteber, editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Margaret Sullivan, editor of the Buffalo News; Julia Wallace, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; the late Dorothy Jurney, a former assistant managing editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer; and the late Bella Stumbo, a former veteran reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Medill’s Director of External Relations Bridget Calendo lauded, “These women all have really broken a glass ceiling,” reported the Daily Northwestern.

However, a recent survey by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) shows that progress remains slow for women and minorities in newsrooms. Compiling data from approximately 1,000 daily US newspapers, ASNE reported that women’s representation in the newsroom hovered around 36.9 percent-about the same from last year, and slightly lower than three years ago (37.4 percent). Of that group, minority women comprised just 15.8 percent. Likewise, minority men accounted for only 10.6 percent of 34,550 male daily newspaper staffers. Together, African-Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and American Indians, witnessed just a half a percent improvement to comprise 12.5 percent of almost 55,000 newsroom staffers in 2002. In the US, minorities account for 31.1 percent of the general population, according to the US Census Bureau.

ASNE’s Diversity Committee Chair and editor of the Denver Post, Gregory L. Moore, told the AP, “Obviously, we need to achieve bigger gains. We have much work to do as an industry to reach our goal of parity by 2025. It’s going to require our best thinking and the most aggressive solutions available.”

Sources:

Daily Northwestern 4/18/03; ASNE 4/8/03; Associated Press 4/8/03; Feminist Daily News Wire