When I first gained an interest in pursuing a career in the journalism field, naturally I started paying more attention to the media landscape. In particular, I watched various news programming as I developed an interest in the responsibilities of being a news anchor. It was through my initial observations that it became apparent to me that there was a lack of African-American, Hispanic and Asian presence anchoring these news programs.
As I started watching news programing more closely, I realized that there are indeed other ethnic groups other than Caucasian anchoring news programs. They just happened to be broadcasting either during the weekends or during the day, usually not in primetime as their white news anchor counterparts where. This is a topic I find quite interesting due to my goal of one day becoming a news anchor. Through these observations it makes me wonder, will I get an ample opportunity to anchor a news program in primetime or would my ‘glass ceiling’ be anchoring duties on the weekends?
That is the premise of this research project. The project will be incorporated as a case study in an effort to be able to understand why there isn’t a greater ethnic group presence in broadcasting. It is also worth exploring whether African-Americans, Hispanic and Asians have the same opportunities as Caucasians to progress through the broadcast field.
There are examples of successful news anchors with broadcasting jobs that could be considered desirable too many. Lester Holt of NBC News anchors the weekend editions of ‘Today’ and ‘NBC Nightly News.’ Don Lemon of CNN anchors the weekend edition of ‘CNN Newsroom’ on Saturdays and Sundays. The question starts to arise as to why don’t other ethnic groups other than white get to anchor during the week, on primetime? Are they not as qualified as Shepard Smith or Anderson Cooper? All have proven to be good reporters through years of experience in the journalism field.
There have been examples of a more diverse, ethnic presence in regards to news anchors. However, they usually broadcast a regional news program rather than a national broadcast. A prime example of this locally is on CBS 2 News where Maurice DuBois, a Dominican American and his co anchor Kristine Johnson who is from the Philippines, broadcast the CBS NY News in primetime, weeknights at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Another angle worth exploring is whether news organizations are more open to having a diverse news anchor team but more regional rather than national.
Sources thus far:
MSNBC Anchor Richard Lui Discusses Diversity in the News Industry
Utah’s right place for state’s first black news anchor
University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication