Minorities are not adequately represented in the U.S. media workforce or in media coverage, and journalists can take steps to rectify this disparity, said Edward Bowser, content creator at Birmingham’s Big Communications, during a presentation at Alabama Media Professionals’ Oct. 12 meeting.
The percentage of minority journalists for daily newspapers and online publications is 17 percent and 23 percent, respectively, while the overall minority population is around 38 percent. In Birmingham in particular, 74 percent of the population is African-American, but media coverage does not reflect this.
“If the only time I see faces that look like mine in the media is when someone is running a ball or running from police, that’s a problem,” Bowser said.
He used the analogy of a dinner party to lay out three actions media outlets can take to effectively engage minorities, both as employees and in coverage:
Extend the invitation.
Make minorities feel welcome.
Listen and learn.
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The November 9 program will feature AMP members Jane Ehrhardt, Nancy Dorman-Hickson and Jennifer Walker-Journey. The freelancers will tell how they have successfully banded together to create lucrative projects for clients for the past four years. Details of a holiday social in December will be announced later.
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