WASHINGTON – The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey found that the percentage of minority news directors rose in both television and radio in 2009 but, overall, the percentage of minorities in both radio and television fell for the third straight year, although the drop in television was small.
“Again, the percentage of minorities in television decreased from the year before. In fact, we end the decade with no gains whatsoever for minorities in TV news, and the percentage of minorities in radio news is down substantially,” said Bob Papper, professor of journalism at Hofstra University and the survey director.
According to the survey, women in radio news rose slightly, but the percentage of women radio news directors went down, as did both the overall percentage of women in TV news and women TV news directors. The drop in women TV news directors was small, and the percentage of women TV news directors stands at the second-highest level ever.
“Women have been right around the 40 percentage mark of the TV workforce for more than a decade. Last year, the number edged up to 41.4 percent, but this year it's back down to 40.0 percent. That could indicate that women in TV news lost their jobs at a higher rate than men, but it could also just be an anomaly in the numbers,” Papper said.
According to the survey, it was a mixed picture for women in radio news this year. The percentage of women in the radio workforce stayed essentially the same, up by 1.0 percent, and the percentage of stations with women rose by 10 percent, but the percentage of women radio news directors fell by nine percent.
About the Survey
The RTDNA/Hofstra University Survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2009 among all 1,770 operating, non-satellite television stations and a random sample of 4,000 radio stations. Valid responses came from 1,355 television stations (76.6 percent) and 203 radio news directors and general managers representing 301 radio stations.
RTDNA is the world's largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. RTDNA represents local and network news executives in broadcasting, cable and digital media in more than 20 countries.