Eight per cent of top editors in 20 top online and offline news outlets across Brazil, Germany, the UK and US are non-white as against an average of 31 percent non-white general population in these countries, according to the Reuters Institute on Monday.
The factsheet – titled ‘Race and leadership in the news media 2022: evidence from five markets’ – analysed diversity in a strategic sample of 100 major online and offline news outlets in five different markets across four continents, including South Africa and the countries mentioned above.
None of the outlets in the sample had a non-white top editor in 2021 in Brazil, Germany and UK, the study said. In the US, 33 percent of top editors are non-white, up from 18 percent in 2021, and 73 percent are non-white in South Africa, up from 60 percent in 2021, it stated.
Considering a sample of 10 top online and 10 most prominent offline organisations in each market, the study found that 21 percent of the 82 top editors across the 100 brands covered are non-white as against 43 percent of the general population.
In Brazil and the UK, there are fewer non-white top editors than there are non-white journalists, it said.
The study was authored by , a research fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, , deputy director, and , the institute’s director and professor of political communication at the University of Oxford.
“We continue that work on race and leadership here, documenting the profile of top editors to assess one aspect of how the news media industry is responding to ongoing conversations about racial justice, equity, and diversity in many countries. Continued public attention to how the news media handle race and ethnicity around the world – in the UK, for instance, in the wake of Meghan Markle raising the problem of racism in the media in a high-profile interview with Oprah Winfrey, and the widely criticised initial response from the Society of Editors (which was followed by a withdrawal of the response, and the resignation of the executive who had issued it) – has fuelled discussions around prioritising diversity in the newsroom,” the authors state in the general overview.
“Overall, as in previous years, we find that white people are significantly over-represented among top editors relative to their share of the general population in all five countries, and non-white people are significantly under-represented.”