Why is the Liberal Media so Darn White?

The American Prospect’s Gabriel Arana notes in a new post today that, despite possessing values and norms that should be most welcoming to a diverse workplace, left-leaning press outlets are very, uh, monochromatic:

Nearly 40 percent of the country is non-white, but the number of minorities at the outlets included in this article’s tally—most of them self-identified as liberal or progressive—hovers around 10 percent. The Washington Monthly can boast 20 percent, but that’s because it only has nine staffers in total, two of whom belong to minority groups). Dissent has none. Given the broad commitment to diversity in our corner of the publishing world, why is the track record so poor?

Corporate America long ago signed on to the idea that diversity—besides being a noble goal in itself—is good for business. Companies with diverse workforces consistently outperform their competitors; diversity drives innovation, and workers tend to be happier at companies that value inclusiveness. But it’s even more important in journalism than, say, at an accounting firm. When you’re in the business of telling stories, lacking diversity means you’re limited in the sorts of stories you can tell—or even think of telling. A newsroom filled with white guys simply lacks the same imagination as one with people from an array of backgrounds. One editor I spoke with stressed that they “choose staff for what they can bring to the magazine, first and foremost,” but lacking diversity is actually a prime indicator that you’re failing to attract the top talent.

Read on here for Arana’s trenchant analysis of both the causes of and cures for lack of diversity in left-leaning media.

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