Landing an entry-level gig in a newsroom is no easy task. Positions that are truly open to the public are hard to come by, and when one pops up, competition is fierce. So what does it take to get a job in the industry right now? Applicants just need to be savvy, persistent—and it also helps a lot if they’re white.
While the media industry has changed drastically over the past decade or so, the demographic composition of newsrooms hasn’t. In 2014, all minority groups accounted for 22.4 percent of television journalists, 13 percent of radio journalists, and 13.34 percent of journalists at daily newspapers. Pretty pathetic, considering the fact that minorities make up 37.4 percent of the U.S. population. But walk into most major newsrooms in the U.S. and you’ll be overwhelmed by the whiteness and maleness of the editorial staff. Journalism certainly isn’t the only field that is notoriously and historically homogenous. But this is a big problem for an industry whose ambition is to serve and inform an increasingly diverse public.