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Newsrooms need more journalists of color

Written By Sienna Rodriguez-Truley

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It’s no surprise that Trump says stupid things, like, really stupid things. Fortunately, this isn’t going to be another one of those articles talking about them.

Instead, I want to talk about the journalism industry. While many reporters and writers, a majority of which were white, have spoken or written pieces on how racist the president is, they have failed to realize the journalism field isn’t much better towards people of color.   

As a person of color, I don’t see much representation of my people in the media. And if it is, it’s never typically the most positive of situations. 

Angry black or Latino reporters emerge onto the screen when the president acts up again, in an attempt to show the audience that [insert mainstream news station here] sympathizes with the minority population. White reporters are tearing up and crying about how they aren’t racist, how they sympathize with minority problems in Trump’s America, etc.   

I’ve almost gone numb to these kinds of reports during Trump’s presidency, and a part of me wonders why I still watch the news when it’s the same routine. It seems as if newsrooms only have black or hispanic staff on standby so they can say, “Look we have diversity!” 

A part me hopes maybe I will turn on the news and see more Latino, African-American, Asian, heck, even Native Americans on the screen. Or, see headlining articles in the newspaper week after week with journalists with last names that aren’t eastern European.   

There is a wall that minorities have to climb within this industry similar to the wall Trump wants up. There is a young aspiring journalist of color out there just waiting to be given a chance.   

The excuse that there aren’t many minorities that are qualified for this field is unacceptable. The recruiters and interviewing processes have a very ingrained concept of what is newsroom-appropriate. 

The news is constantly being delivered to us by a white male-focused lens, not allowing for different points of views or narratives to be spoken. That’s why every time there’s any person of color upset about something political, it often gets brushed aside as irrational because it’s ten to one.   

And don’t get me started about the almost non-existent representation of LGBT journalists in the industry. When was the last time you have ever seen an openly gay or lesbian reporter on the TV? 

When was the last time you read an article for a mainstream paper that was written by someone who is trans? Yeah, I don’t know either, and it’s a shame.   

So to me, it’s almost cowardly that news agencies can air content or publish articles about how much a disgrace the president is when they are barely opening the door for people of color. If anything, the door is slightly cracked open with an eight ton cinderblock behind it.    

The president is indeed, for lack of better words, ignorant and the system in America is already rigged. These are things we already know. But if you tell me that the journalism industry isn’t biased towards people who aren’t white, now that just is not true.

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