Do Birmingham publications suffer from a lack of diversity? Do they reflect the city they serve?
The questions were prompted by a glance at the redesigned landing Web page for the Birmingham News. Granted, these are just the columnists, but the News and AL.com decided these are the ones to feature prominently with mug shots.
Birmingham News columnists
All white, with two women out of eight columnists. The city population itself is 73.5 percent African American.
Compare that with the recently launched B-Metro magazine, which also features its columnists on the front page of its site …
B-Metro magazine columnists
We see a little more diversity, with three men out of nine contributors, one African American.
At Birmingham Magazine, the four columnists featured are all women, all white. (See graphic at right.)
(The Birmingham Business Journal doesn’t include writers’ photos on its site.)
The questions we have:
- Should the writers featured on a Web site (and in the publication, too) reflect the diversity of its audience and market?
- Do advertisers care about staff diversity? Do readers care? Or publishers?
- Does diversity make a difference to the bottom line?
- Can publications diversify, even as they’re cutting resources and staff members?
- Are smaller publications — Birmingham Weekly, Black and White, Birmingham Times — facing the same issues?
Your comments are welcome below.
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