By Mara Schiavocampo, Nightly News digital correspondent
According to a new survey released Tuesday by the Radio-TV News Directors Association and Hofstra University, journalists of color made up 23.6% of local TV news staffs in 2007, compared to 21.5% in 2006. I think we can all agree that the more diverse the voices in journalism, the better.
Speaking of media diversity, when the results of the survey were released yesterday I was headed to the airport for the 2008 Unity Convention, held this year in lovely Chicago.
What's Unity, you ask? Every four years, four minority journalist groups (National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Asian American Journalists Association and Native American Journalists Association) come together for one massive joint convention.
This year, organizers are expecting about 10,000 people. The stated mission is to "advocate fair and accurate news coverage about people of color, and aggressively challenge the industry to staff its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation's diversity."
The official kick-off is today. I'll be blogging throughout the convention, to give you some insight on what we journalists do when it's just us. (I'll give you a hint: most of the activities involve a barstool and a corkscrew. Just kidding. Sort of.)
While the convention does provide a rare chance to catch up with old buddies, it also offers an opportunity for serious dialogue about the industry. I'll keep you posted on all of that.
Before I go, a quick non sequiter: On Tuesday I took part in a conference sponsored by the Poynter Institute on "Diversity in the Digital Age."
If our group of about 30 was any sample, Apple computers are the choice of the new media set. I should note that Apple still controls a very small portion of the overall PC market. But of the 12 laptops I counted in the room, 10 were Macs. Just thought it was worth a passing mention.
Anyhow, I'll have more from Chicago later. For now I'm off to the bar… err, I mean a workshop.