Tag Archives: Al Roker

Diversity in the media ~ JMC blog post 1

Julian Reschman
Considering that now more than ever in modern society, we are in need of quick, reliable information from the internet, as well as from other “traditional” media, it’s a wonder why the majority of it tends to come from the same people who have been doing the job the entire time the job was around. There is a sort of familiarity problem in most areas of the media that could be attributed to the way in which the USA takes an uncomfortably long time to come around with changes to the status-quo. Watch any news program, and you’re going to see something in common amongst all the well-known anchors and reporters from CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc.: They’re all white.

This is one of those things that easily goes unnoticed for the most part. Most people, myself included, don’t even see anything out of place until it has been pointed out to them, and they go about scratching their heads searching for that one token, colored person they saw on the news that one time, maybe. It’s just not something that is given too much thought due to the way it has just been established that on TV news channels, that the person speaking into the camera is not going to have a darker complexion. (Al Roker does not count, because Matt Lauer would never be caught dead standing in a Louisiana rain storm, telling us about the incoming sharknado about to hit.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61D1bZfkau4 ) In fact, seeing that an African American was at the news desk telling us about the recent ISIS attacks (and the new shocking celebrity scandal, of course, but that’s a topic for a different occasion) would lead to one thought: “Huh, there’s a black guy telling the news stories? Don’t see that every day.” It would be immediately disorienting and would almost surely lead to the viewers trying to pay attention to how well he was doing his job, as opposed to the actual news stories. And that would be the sort of reaction just if it was on a relatively bipartisan news outlet like CNN. (If it were on FOX, people of both parties would also add in “WHY??” to that thought process.)

Speaking personally now, as a person of Hispanic heritage, this does send off a couple of alarm bells in the back of my head. However, they are rather faint. The mega media conglomerates and their news programs are surely going to use the least common denominator as their talking heads. It’s like I said, something that we’ve just come to get used to in our culture. Is it somewhat wrong? Yeah. Is it the worst thing ever? Not necessarily. A family friend (also a Latino) has actually been successful with his journalistic pursuits. It’s not as though journalism is some sort of exclusive clique of people, but demographically, it just seems that the population that most wants to get a job writing for a living is going to be white, generally. And considering I plan to work as a videogame journalist, a field where professional jobs are dominated by white males, I feel my voice could stand out in the crowd. So I’m not too worried, especially since people of every color and creed have flocked to the internet for what they’re looking for. I could ramble on more, but overall, if I had to say if the media was passing or failing, I’d give it a C+, for being harmlessly dumb.