How Diverse Are New York City's Newsrooms?

Chirlane McCray
Chirlane McCray
nycmayorsoffice via Flickr

On Sunday, the New York Post published an anonymously sourced piece detailing first lady Chirlane McCray's fury after hearing that Chief of Department Philip Banks (her pick, the paper says, for commissioner) was leaving the force after a disagreement with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

"I told you we can't trust him!" the paper says she "railed" at her husband, Mayor Bill de Blasio. After that, the report goes on, the mayor "summoned Bratton to City Hall, blasting him face to face for not catering to Banks."

Both de Blasio and Bratton denied the reports at a press conference yesterday, while McCray took the unusual step of addressing the "lies" in a post on her tumblr.

"WANTED:," she writes, "TRUTH IN JOURNALISM."

It's like the reporters created a fictional character that happened to look like me and have the same name as me.

They put words into my mouth that I never said. They gave me opinions that have never crossed my mind. They made it sound like NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is my sworn enemy, when in fact he has my full support.

When I got to the end, my first question was "Why? Why are people spreading these lies?"

And my second question was "How? How do these lies end up on the front page of a Sunday newspaper?"

She blames the latter on a problem of diversity: "Too many city newsrooms do not reflect the population of NYC or the experiences of the majority of New Yorkers....We must demand newsrooms that are as diverse as the city they serve," McCray writes. And she's right.

According to the 2010 census, New York City is 44.6% white, 27.5% Hispanic, 25.1% black, 11.8% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 0.1% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and 16% "other."

According to a 2014 census by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, three of the big ones -- the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Daily News -- are all more than 80 percent white.

The Times reports its newsroom is 0.1 percent American Indian, 7.1 percent Asian American, 7.9 percent black, and 4.5 percent Hispanic.

How Diverse Are New York City's Newsrooms?

The Wall Street Journal is 9.1 percent Asian American, 3.4 percent black, and 4.7 percent Hispanic, and 0.8 percent multiracial.

How Diverse Are New York City's Newsrooms?

The Daily News is 5.5 percent Asian American, 5.9 percent black, and 4.4 percent Hispanic.

How Diverse Are New York City's Newsrooms?

The New York Post did not participate in the survey.


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