NPR Releases 2016 Staff Diversity Numbers

National Public Radio (NPR) Logo (NPR)

National Public Radio (NPR) Logo (NPR)

In April, National Public Radio (known colloquially as NPR) released its staff diversity data for 2016. Here were the main findings for that year:

According to NPR’s human resources department, of the 350 employees in the news division as of Oct. 31, 2016, 75.4 percent were white. Asians made up 8.3 percent of the staff, followed by blacks or African-Americans (8.0 percent), Hispanics or Latinos (5.4 percent), those who identified as two or more races or ethnic identities (2.6 percent) and American Indian (0.3 percent).

NPR has been tracking this data since 2012, and it’s interesting to see how the numbers fare on a long-term basis. Spoiler alert: they pretty much flatlined. This falls in line with long-term newsroom diversity trends. Per the American Society of News Editors (ASNE): “In 2016, minorities comprised about 17 percent of employees at daily newspapers and 23 percent at online-only sites.” Pretty bad.

Here’s where NPR falls in comparison to other media:

NPR is behind The Washington Post (31 percent diverse) and The Los Angeles Times (34 percent). At 25 percent diverse, NPR is just above The New York Times newsroom, which is about 22 percent diverse.

Newsroom diversity has become part of a larger conversation regarding workplace, and companies publicly releasing they diversity data. But some newsrooms are refusing to disclose their data. The ASNE reported that 737 newsrooms responded with data for the 2016 survey. That’s out of 1.7K+ newsrooms contacted, making a 42%+ response rate.

 

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Going Dark for “A Day Without A Woman”

A Day Without A Woman (Women's March on Washington)

A Day Without A Woman (Women’s March on Washington)

Today, I’m going dark for a cause: A Day Without A Woman.

Guidelines for the day via A Day Without A Woman:

Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:

  1. Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
  2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  3. Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

This day coincides with International Women’s Day (IWD) and the International Women’s Strike (IWS). The day will also spotlight all the financial power women possess:

The idea behind a women’s general strike is that if women refuse to do all of their typical work for a day, it will force people to notice how important and under-appreciated that work is.

And that economic impact will be felt:

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and influence about 73% of all household spending.

Though I’ll be working today at my office job, I plan to show my support by wearing red, reading feminist literature (currently deciding between “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie and “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay), and masturbating.

See you on March 9th!

Facebook Can Tell When You’re In a Relationship

Facebook Relationship Status interface (Daily Mail UK)

Facebook Relationship Status interface (Daily Mail UK)

It’s no secret that Facebook knows everything about its users at this point. The social network knows your favorite movies and TV shows, where you’ve worked, and what you read. Of course, this is all information users manually input. But Facebook can also glean information from a user’s patterns of how they use the site. One thing Facebook can tell from this is when a user starts a relationship.

In 2014, Facebook’s data scientists noticed something interesting: When a couple enters the courtship period, timeline posts increase (presumably both for interaction purposes, and so the other party can see how awesome/funny/interesting, etc. the first person is).

For the visual learners, here’s a chart to illustrate this:

Facebook activity as it relates to relationship status (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Facebook activity as it relates to relationship status (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Once two people are firmly “in a relationship” (as defined by posting an anniversary date), the number of posts decrease, but the tone of said posts becomes happier overall. This probably points to the fact that the couple are spending more time together in person and have no need to post on each other’s walls.

Here’s what that looks like:

Facebook activity in terms of relationship status and positive emotions (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Facebook activity in terms of relationship status and positive emotions (The Atlantic/Facebook)

According to Facebook Data Scientist Carlos Diuk, here’s how the data science behind the study breaks down:

During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple. When the relationship starts (“day 0”), posts begin to decrease. We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship. Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world.

Facebook’s parameters for this study were users who had “Single” as their relationship status 100 days before changing it to “In a Relationship,” and who were in a relationship 85 days after their posted anniversary date. Anniversary dates used were between April 11, 2010 and October 21, 2013.

In other words, Facebook can tell when you’re…Facebook official.

Google Trends: “Birth Control” vs. “Male Birth Control”

Birth Control Pill Container (The Holy Kale)

Birth Control Pill Container (The Holy Kale)

With the news that a new form of male contraception could soon be on the horizon, I was curious to see how Google searches were reflecting that.

The parameters I used were looking at the last five years worldwide.

First, here’s the trend for searches for “birth control:”

Google Trends: 'Birth Control' searches, worldwide 2012-2017

Google Trends: ‘Birth Control’ searches, worldwide 2012-2017

Not surprisingly, the interest in the topic remains consistently high throughout the timeframe. In terms of regions, the top three regions that searched the term were Jamaica (100%), Trinidad & Tobago (88%), and the United States (82%).

Since birth control is through to be traditionally the woman’s responsibility  (*eyeroll*), let’s see what happens when we put “male birth control” searches against “birth control:”

Google Trends: 'Birth Control' vs. 'Male Birth Control' worldwide, 2012-2017

Google Trends: ‘Birth Control’ vs. ‘Male Birth Control’ worldwide, 2012-2017

Wow. I didn’t expect the difference to be that great.

One thing that’s really interesting: Google Trends also pulls up related searches. The third most popular search was for “snopes male control.” Of course, Snopes is a site educated to debunking myths, so it appears that some users were curious to see whether male birth control was even a legit thing or not.

I tried searching “vasalgel” (the male contraceptive gel being tested) against “birth control” and “male birth control,” and the search for the former basically mirrored the trendline for “male birth control.”

As more options for male contraception hit the market, hopefully more users will be searching for male birth control. And also believe male birth control actually exists.

 

#ThrowbackThursday: Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1969

Hillary Rodham in 'Life' magazine, 1969 (Iowa Public Radio)

Hillary Rodham in ‘Life’ magazine, 1969 (Iowa Public Radio)

Hillary Clinton became nationally known early on, when she was still a college student. In 1969, she was elected to be Wellesley College’s first student commencement speaker at graduation. During her speech, Clinton (then known as Hillary Rodham, her maiden name) addressed remarks made by Massachusetts Republican Senator Edward W. Brooke, who’d previously spoken about the rise of student protests on university campuses. Rodham Clinton then spoke off the cuff in favor of the protests, reasoning that they had a place in public discourse.

Later, she was featured in a Life magazine spread called, “The Class of ’69,” with her commencement speech reprinted. Clinton was also photographed lounging at the Rodham family home.

Beyonce and Solange’s #1 Albums: By The Numbers

Beyonce and Solange Knowles (ET Online)

Beyonce and Solange Knowles (ET Online)

Musicians/performers/all-around FLAWLESS women Beyonce and her sister Solange each have achieved something many artists dream of: cracking the Billboard 200 chart. And now each have achieved the distinction of having an album reach #1.

But they also sit in a rarefied strata: Beyonce and Solange are only the third pair of siblings to make the Billboard 200 chart. They’re also the only sisters to achieve this feat.

Since this is such an impressive distinction for the Knowles sisters, here are some numbers that put their joint accomplishment in perspective:

Number of Siblings Who’ve Also Scored #1 Albums: 2

  • Michael and Janet Jackson
  • Master P and Silkk the Shocker

Number of Siblings Who’ve Also Hit #1 in a Calendar Year: 1

  • Michael and Janet Jackson, 2001

Number of Times the Knowles Sisters’ Albums Have Hit #1: 

  • Beyonce: 6
  • Solange: 1

Number of Times Beyonce Hit #1 With Destiny’s Child Albums: 2

Number of Solo Albums Each Knowles Sister Has Released:

  • Beyonce: 6
  • Solange: 3

2016 Album that Hit #1 for Each Knowles Sister:

  • Beyonce: Lemonade
  • Solange: A Seat at the Table

Number of Units Consumed Within First Week of 2016’s Album Release (includes full albums, streaming- and track-equivalents):

Number of Sales Within First Week of 2016’s Album Release:

Best-Selling Album for Each Knowles Sister:

“Luke Cage” Breaks Netflix

Luke Cage on Netflix (Metro UK)

Luke Cage on Netflix (Metro UK)

Marvel’s newest superhero Luke Cage only arrived less than two weeks ago, but he’s already made a name for himself. And not just for his heroic deeds.

The titular character’s thirteen-episode first season dropped on Friday night, Sept. 30th. Not even a day later, Netflix received so much traffic that the site went down for two to three hours on Saturday afternoon. The outage affected the U.S. and most of the UK.

It’s posited that so many viewers streaming the new series at the same time led to the site crashing.

If anything, Netflix’s crash proves that there’s a very real audience for non-white superheroes that’s been underserved for far too long. I hope the success of “Luke Cage” changes that.