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RTNDA: Women, Minorities Makes Gains As GMs, NDs, But Fewer Total in News

RTNDA: Women, Minorities Makes Gains As GMs, NDs, But Fewer Total in News

There are more women and minority news directors, but a slight decrease in the percentage of minority and women in radio news overall, according to the latest figures from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.
The results of RTNDA’s annual survey show that minorities hold 8% of all radio news jobs, down from 10.7% in 2001. Minorities make up just more than 5% of news directors, up from 4.4% in 2001 and they hold 3.8% of general manager jobs in radio.
Also, women hold 32.5% of all jobs in radio news, down from 37.4 percent in 2001. In radio, the percentage of women news directors rose to 22.3% from 21.9 percent in 2001 and women hold 11% of general manager jobs.
“It’s good news that women and minorities are increasing their numbers in management ranks,” says Barbara Cochran, RTNDA president. “But the decline in total staff percentages is a cause for concern. We will continue to watch these numbers closely and help news organizations diversify their staffs.”
There are two possibilities as to why the minority percentages are down from last year, says Bob Papper, the Ball State University professor who conducted the research with colleague Michael Gerhard. “First, last year’s data could simply represent a statistical anomaly. We’re always at the mercy of those who return the survey, and last year’s sample could have over-represented the minority population,” says Papper. “Another possibility is that the downturn in the economy has hurt minority numbers: As minority journalists moved up in market size, stations were unable to replace them. That could lead to an overall drop in percentage.”
RTNDA published the RTNDA/Ball State University Women & Minorities Survey in the July/August issue of Communicator. Visit