US media is still color conscious

06 December 2015
US media is still color conscious


Khairul Islam :
Discussion about equal right for all citizen irrespective of their gender, color, religion and ethnicity has become old-fashioned especially in the country like United States, which is supposed to be a role model for rest of the world. It is agreeable, in many cases including human rights, freedom of expression, America has achieved such superiority.
However, the country still have to work more for ensuring equal rights and coexistence of its all citizen irrespective of race and color and otherwise. In many cases, minorities specially the people of color, who make up 37.02 % of the country's population are still significantly lagging behind compare with the dominant whites.
If we just look at the minorities' position in the  world of media, it will be clear to all. A recent census jointly conducted by American Society of News Editors and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University found that in the United States, in 2014, only 12.76%  of journalists were from people of non-white origin.
However, the scenario is more disappointing in terms of their position in the media houses.
The report said only one position out of top three positions is held by people with color. Meanwhile the US Census Bureau says that presently minorities make up 37.02% of the country total population. The agency also forecast that the percentage of the minority population will reach 42.02pc by 2025. Meanwhile, journalists from the minority communities hovered in between 12% to 14% during the last decade.
Therefore, it is very clear that although percentage of minorities the in US population has been increasing, but their presence in American media is very low and almost static. There are three main possible causes behind such imbalance prevailing in the media sector. Firstly, some people might arguably say that the minority people are not interested in this profession. Is it believable? However, the ASNE census report answered this question mase clearly.
The census revealed that one-third (36.2%) reported having at least one volunteer contributor. More than a third (38.3%) of the organizations surveyed reported more volunteers and part-time contributors than full-time employees. It means minorities are seriously interested to work in media industry.
Secondly, may be the minorities do not have the quality that are required by the country's media. However, it is not an easily supportable contention because many minorities are now well educated and they are leading many important positions worldwide.
However, if they are not really qualified for this position, the government has some responsibilities in that case too.
This imbalance in employment media also could be the because of not having proper scope for the minorities in the white dominated media industry.
In more simple word, the field is still not a level playing one for the people with mixed-color origin in the American society with many pockets of discriminations which goes against the principle of 'universal evenness' for which the US, as a state, more so its leaderships feel proud of: There must be a change.

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