Does a More Diverse Newspaper Staff Reflect Its Community? A Print and Digital Content Analysis of The Dallas Morning News

Authors

  • Tracy Everbach University of North Texas
  • Jake Batsell Southern Methodist University
  • Sara Champlin
  • Gwendelyn S. Nisbett University of North Texas

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.58997/smc.v35i1.41

Abstract

This qualitative analysis of print and digital content in The Dallas Morning News examines racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in a regional newspaper’s coverage after it made a commitment to diversify staff. It also serves as an example of collaboration between scholars and a professional news organization. Using a constructed week from fall 2017, the study employs a qualitative approach to research bylines, text sources, and visual subjects in the newspaper’s print and digital editions. Results show that content on both platforms did not match the diversity of the surrounding community, which is 40% Latinx. People of color and women are symbolically annihilated through the coverage, which results in stereotypical framing of these groups. The authors presented the study’s findings to the newspaper’s senior leadership team, offering recommendations to increase diversity of staff, sources, and subjects of news coverage to provide fairer coverage and better represent the surrounding community.

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Published

2019-12-05

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