Minority Media and Telecommunications Council exec David Honig says that the employment level of minority journalists in radio news departments is far below the percentage of minorities in the population as a whole, and adds that they are almost non-existent at non-minority-owned stations. He wants the FCC to fix the problem.
Honig said that RTDNA figues place the minority radio news force at 8.9% of the total employed, compared to a total minority population share of 34.4%. he added that using RTDNA figures as a base, MMTC determined that “…minority news employment at U.S. English language, non-minority owned radio stations was statistically almost zero.”
Honig argued that casting a wide net is the key to building a diversely-staffed news department, and said that this wasn’t happening as a rule. He wrote, “The collapse of minority employment in radio journalism is a result of word of mouth recruitment from a homogeneous workforce. Relying on word of mouth recruitment is dangerous because the practice will allow non-diverse workforces to consolidate and replicate themselves over time. Word of an open position will generally extend to employees’ usually homogeneous family and social groups. If a workplace were homogeneous to begin with, word of mouth recruitment would reproduce and usually enhance the homogeneity. However, if a workplace were diverse, the practice would preserve that diversity.”
He noted that promoting diversity has long been a Commission goal, one that has been frequently reaffirmed, but noted that little is being done to achieve the goal.
In particular, Honig called for better enforcement of EEO requirements, and hoped that the FCC would soon be collecting better and more comprehensive data once confidentiality hurdles regarding its stalled enhanced disclosure program for licensees are overcome. Further, he wants the Commission to amend its regulations to reflect suggestions made by its own Advisory Committee for Diversity in the Digital Age regarding the career paths and development of diverse job candidates.
Honig made his remarks in the 12/6/10 edition of the organizations newsletter “Broadband and Social Justice.”