"THE DISAPPEARING ANCHOR"An African American Perspective
There are many issues that present themselves when discussion is brought up about diversity in broadcast news particularly at the anchor desk. According to a study conducted by Todd Maupin of Ohio State University,"The employee demograhics of television journalism do not mirror those of the larger United States population."-2. According to further research on Women and Minorities on Network Television (Ziegler and White-1990 Newsroom, the numbers in the newsroom just 10 years ago did not reflect the populations masses.-3
ZIEGLER & WHITE-1990
While the African American network anchors now on prime time television are well respected, the question is raised as to whether one or two per network is adequate given the makeup of today's television audiences.In November of 1999, the Gallup Organization, one of the most respected polling organizations in the United States conducted a poll following a meeting between the National Association For The Advancement of Coloried People(NAACP) and representatives of the major netowrks-4. The question at hand concerned the diversity of programming om network television. But, a survey was also conducted on sufficient diversity in America's newsrooms and on the Anchor Desk. The results of that poll shown, below revealed, that minority representation was inadequate. Here are the numbers as presented by the Gallup Organization:
|TOO MANY||TOO FEW||RIGHT NUMBER|
GALLUP POLL-NOVEMBER 30, 1999
That same poll conducted by the Gallup Organization points out that African Americans are also unequally represented in the movies as they are on television news programs. But much of the research still does not answer the question of why the number of African American male news anchors are limited on nightly national boradcast. Those broadcasters who are now in place have longevity.But, the announced retirement of CNN's Bernard Shaw leaves the question of whether Network television will act responsbility and replace Shaw with another African American journalist. There are several in the grooming fields so to speak...but will that grooming ultimately pay off.