New Media’s Old Diversity Problem

Brendan James of the International Business Times surveyed major “new media” newsrooms and compared them against “old” media outlets, like the Washington Post. In some cases, like with Buzzfeed, the results are actually not bad:

Of the news outlets IBTimes spoke with, BuzzFeed is the only one that makes its diversity figures public: Its report last year, written by Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, showed that among 185 editorial employees, 72.7 percent were white, 7.1 percent Asian, 6.0 percent black, 9.8 percent Latino and 3.8 percent were of mixed race. Women outnumbered men, 52.52 percent to 47.8 percent.

A little over 27% non-whiteness isn’t terrible, though not the best; the male/female ratio, however, allows for perspectives and voices that aren’t heard at other publications.

Then there’s this:

When asked for internal exact numbers from Henry Blodget’s sprawling content factory Business Insider, Managing Editor Jess Lieberman did not address the question and instead gave a terse statement.

“Thanks for asking. Business Insider has a highly diverse editorial team,” Lieberman replied to an initial email. To a follow up question asking again for the numbers, she responded: “That’s our statement.”

Oy vey.