WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

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Howard Ross on Defining Diversity in Media and Beyond

Diversity is an oft-stated goal for businesses of all kinds, but varied understandings of what it means can make achieving it a challenge. In news organizations and entertainment media--where different points of view are at a premium and impressions are important--contextualizing and representing diversity can be elusive. We talk with Howard Ross about what diversity means and how to engage in meaningful conversations about achieving it.

Diversity and Context in Media

NPR's ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos joined Kojo on June 4 to talk about diversity of voices in public radio.

As he was trying to talk about diversity and context, he told Kojo:

"And I am Latino and if I can say that the one major ethnic group that's been short drift was the Latino one. I don't say that because I'm Latino, I promise you. But they're under-represented in the newsroom, whereas African Americans I see over-represented in the newsroom, but you can argue that's because, you know, NPR's headquarters are in, you know, Washington, D.C."

The comment, out of context, was then scooped up by Twitter listeners, who ran with the statement ...

... before producers had a chance to clarify.

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