There has been a good deal of research documenting the degree to which mainstream news media have misrepresented, stereotyped or simply ignored racial minorities. A common approach to improve the coverage of marginalized groups—identified by academics, bureaucrats and industry representatives—is the hiring of minority journalists. The theory goes that more inclusive news begins with a more inclusive newsroom. However, this assumption has only been tested in a handful of studies in the United States and never in Canada, a country built on immigration, with a legislative mandate calling on broadcasters to “reflect” Canada’s “multicultural and multiracial nature”. This quantitative study sets out to examine that assumption. A content analysis of Canada’s three national, mainstream nightly English newscasts seriously calls into question the notion that newsroom diversity results in greater news source diversity. White sources are over-represented in these newscasts regardless of the ethnic background of the journalist. This study also reaffirms a very low participation rate by Aboriginal people as both reporters and news sources in mainstream television news.
|Keywords:||Television News, Diversity, Visible Minorities, Aboriginal, CBC, Global, CTV, Source Analysis, Ethics, Production Norms, Hegemony|
Associate Professor, Broadcasting, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada