Minorities in Media

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stories featuring minorities in print and broadcast media have always been limited, causing some minorities groups to discontinue their consumption of news that they cannot relate to.

The Internet was suppose to fix this problem because it is has unlimited space and publishers.

Online culture is not held back by the institutionalized habits of legacy newsrooms, and this is a post-racial society.

Coverage is expected to cover all different lifestyles, including class, race, geography, generation, and gender.

A yearlong study by the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education examined mainstream online media and identified the coverage of different minority groups.

The conclusion was that online media still has the same problems as traditional media when it comes to covering minorities.

The Huffington Post featured the greatest diversity of stories. Salon and Slate came in last with the fewest stories covering diversity.

African Americans are the minority most covered, although many of these stories are about celebrities and athletes. Stories about Hispanics tend to focus on the issue of immigration.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, minorities are 36 percent of our population, but this statistics doesn't correlate with the amount of coverage minorities receive.

Photo Credit: Joseph Girmay


Putting it all Together

Journalism students do vast amounts of writing throughout their college years. They dabble in a variety of formats and topics in order to gain exposure to as much as possible. Before receiving that diploma and bringing their college days to a close, they should begin to think about job hunting.

Even if you don't plan on actively searching for an employer, there is one tool that is essential for every journalist. This tool will be your best form of marketing and could even land you an interview that you don't ask for. The creation of an online portfolio is essential for any professional journalist, and perhaps even more essential for the graduating student.

This is the place where casual readers and potential employers will come across samples of your finest work. This is the place where your name can be linked to other work you have done, and where people can learn more about you. But what exactly should be in this online portfolio?

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism gives some great advice on how to create a top-notch journalism portfolio. It mentions to only display the work you want to show off, which is great advice. If you think the article isn't great, it is likely that others interested in you will think the same thing and come to the wrong conclusions about your work. That article also advises to make the design of your portfolio your own and to set-up all your social media pages in a similar style.

An article
on Poynter adds some more advise for designing your portfolio. Apart from linking to your best work, you should also link to news on the web about you. The more things you link to, the higher your portfolio will rank on search engines. Just be certain that the links are good and relevant.

Also include links to your various social media accounts, and a good sample of photos and video to add variety to the blocks of text. In today's world it is important to showcase the ability to write good stories and create multimedia that supports it.

If this course had been longer, it would have been beneficial for us to take a few weeks and develop our own online portfolios. I have heard only benefits when it comes to journalists and online portfolios. And if it helps you land your first major job, wouldn't it be worth a few hours of effort now?

Photo courtesy of creative commons.


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