The percentage of women working in local TV and radio news reached a new high, but the percentage of journalists of color working in electronic media fell, according to the latest RTNDA/Hofstra University survey of women and minorities in local news.
The decline in the percentage of journalists of color in local radio and TV news was led by a 10 percent drop in the number of Hispanic staff working for Hispanic TV stations.
The 2009 RTNDA/Hofstra University annual survey shows that minorities comprised 21.8 percent of local TV news staff, a decrease from 23.6 percent in 2008. Asian American journalists in the broadcast news workforce increased, while the percentage of Native American journalists remained the same.
African Americans working in local news decreased by half a percentage point. The percentage of Hispanics in local news fell from 10.3 last year to 8.8 this year. At non-Hispanic stations, the minority workforce was down by half a percentage point to 19.6 percent. The percentage of minority TV news directors dropped slightly in 2009 with the sharpest decline in Hispanic news directors.
At 41.4 percent, women in the TV news workforce reached an all-time high, as did women TV news directors, at 29.1 percent.
The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2008 among all 1648 operating, non-satellite TV stations and a random sample of 2000 radio stations.