In all, nearly 400 Black journalists lost their jobs in 2008, representing the largest drop in all minority employment and scaling back progress toward diversity in newsrooms to 1998 census levels.
Furthermore, 458 newspapers still have no minorities in their newsrooms and only 111 out of 633 newspapers surveyed have achieved parity with the minority population in their communities.
â€œNewsrooms without Black journalists are unacceptable,â€ Ciara said. â€œNABJ calls on industry leaders to re-commit to making diversity a priority - even in this difficult climate.â€
The decrease in minority representation in newsrooms runs counter to general population trends, which project the United States will become a â€œmajority minorityâ€ country by mid-century.
In 1999, ASNE defined as its goal to deliver parity in newsroom representation by 2025. NABJ stands ready to work with ASNE and media companies to reach this goal and promote diversity in the nation's newsrooms.
â€œAs minority communities grow in number and influence, newspapers must prepare for the future by preserving the jobs of Black journalists and grooming them for the leadership positions of tomorrow,â€ Ciara said.
â€œThe most innovative and profitable newspapers are those with diverse perspectives and minorities in their upper ranks.â€
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, with more than 4,100 members, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.
Source: National Association of Black Journalists.