By The Numbers: NPR Releases 2017 Staff Diversity Data

National Public Radio (NPR) Logo (NPR)

National Public Radio (NPR) Logo (NPR)

National Public Radio (NPR) has committed to inclusive hiring practices by releasing its newsroom diversity data each year. Last month, the diversity data for 2017 was released for 377 employees. All data was self-reported. I also compared these numbers to NPR’s 2016 diversity data.

Here’s the race/ethnicity breakdown:

White: 75.1%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – White: -.3%

Latino: 6.1%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Latino: .7%

Black: 8.8%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Black: .8%

Asian: 7.7%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Asian: -6.%

Two or More Reported: 2.1%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Two or More Reported: -.5%

American Indian: .3%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – American Indian: 0%

Here’s the gender split:

Male: 43.8%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Male (%): -1.1%

Female: 56.2%

Change Year-Over-Year – Female (%): +1.1%

Obviously, there are some problems here. The first problem is that the data is self-reported, so we can assume that respondents self-selected to participate. The second problem is that there is not nearly enough diversity on staff. The third problem is that progress towards more diversity is proceeding too slowly. More progress needs to be made!

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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.