Diversity does not only refer to racial and ethnic divisions but also includes areas such as gender. The Kerner Commission Report of 1968 stated, “The nation was so divided that the United States was poised to fracture into two radically unequal societies—one black, one white (George, 2018). Nowadays, the media has glaring deficiencies in two areas: First, it lacks representative staff and diversity. Second, information on the interests of minority groups is quite restricted. A society that is more democratic and compassionate cannot be constructed only based on its individuals’ differences. The media should not be closed off or homogeneous in any way in its staff and reporting.
Lack of diversity affects the Internet.
Internet usage and Internet access are expanding quickly. The many benefits of ICT (information and communication technology) are improved efficiency in the workplace, lower overall costs, and closer interpersonal bonds (Hanna, 2021). The term “digital divide” describes inequalities in access to ICTs like the Internet. When evaluating the impact of the internet world on prejudice and discrimination, it is crucial to understand who is online and if there are distinctions. The digital divide divides Internet users from nonusers. According to digital gap research, whites are more likely to access the Internet than minorities (Barsamian et al., 2013).
Nonetheless, many experts feel that this digital divide on Internet access may be closing. With the advent of wireless connectivity, public access to the Internet has expanded significantly. Thus, some scholars have noted a shift like the digital divide, from one based on inaccessibility to one based on usage patterns, redefining the term as “inequality in meaningful use of information and communication” (Wei & Hindman, 2011). In particular, this means that people from underprivileged backgrounds are less likely to engage in “capital gain” activities online, such as keeping up with the news, looking for work, or researching health concerns. In addition, “Internet access is a necessity for engaging in our communities, searching for employment and seeking out educational opportunities — but too many people are still stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide. Moreover, that divide disproportionately impacts people of colour (Robbie, 2016).”There is no doubt that the proliferation of discriminatory viewpoints on the Internet is a possibility brought about by the Internet. This is because the anonymity provided by the Internet will permit a more accessible expression of thoughts, opinions, and sentiments by lessening the influence of problems relating to societal expectations, which in turn will reduce the amount of self-censorship that skewed attitudes receive (Barsamian et al., 2013). For instance, a U.S. agency is looking into allegations of racial bias in Facebook‘s hiring and promotion practices. It has labelled its inquiry “systemic,” indicating that it believes Facebook’s rules contribute to widespread discrimination (n.d, 2021). Many companies now use Facebook as a primary screening tool for job applications. After collecting this data, it will be possible to differentiate candidates for open positions. Therefore, discrimination based on technology is a sort of poverty and social exclusion that prevents some people from gaining access to the tools they need to advance their lives and build their prosperity.
In composition and news coverage, the media should be accessible and varied. Nonetheless, people from different ethnic groups have undergone dramatically different upbringings, resulting in significant differences in their worldviews. In that case, we can see that while there are some similar aspirations in media composition and content. Disparities are present between groups and within the same group, adding more complexity to the discussion of minorities. However, even though we have come a long way toward achieving our aim of diversity, the current situation is far from ideal. Focusing entirely on one minority group’s needs and goals might marginalize other disadvantaged populations and, in extreme conditions, generate open antagonism. For example, as de Varennes explained, world events have made it even harder for minorities with the compounded effects on minorities due to the pandemic and sustained structural discrimination (n.d, 2022). He said this had deepened disenfranchisement, exploitation, and victimization. Therefore, news should accurately depict all facets of society, which necessitates thorough coverage of diverse racial or ethnic groups. It is important to remember that just because diversity is being discussed does not guarantee that increasing diversity overall is a wise course of action. It is impossible to handle every issue simultaneously and successfully with a single strategy.
In addition to the overarching objectives of equal hiring of minority personnel and proper coverage of minority community affairs, individual employees’ racial and ethnic identities merit consideration. The one issue on which nearly everyone can agree is that diversity should be supported by everyone who is not a racist. Nonetheless, many oppose diversity, notably white men, who claim that the ethnic quota system and the actual practice of preferential hiring of minorities in hiring media professionals put them at a disadvantage and are anti-democratic by nature. The study, which included a sample size of more than 1,000 Americans who are employed full-time, found that nearly one-third of all men have felt personally excluded at work (Umoh, 2017). In terms of involvement in media work, they think that equal opportunity for everyone is required, not a restricted outcome. However, a variety now is not only a positive trait but also a noble cause. Minority reporters, editors, and broadcasters once said their positions were entrenched and limited to covering their community, but this is improving. Some opponents of journalism assert that it is difficult for an individual to be an advocate for any cause and an impartial reporter at the same time. For example, The Black Lives Matter protests, and the #MeToo movement has shed light on the workplace’s lack of racial and gender diversity (Bourgault,2021). It also sought to have conversations regarding indigenous history and Australia Day. In order to dispel the misconception that persons of different races have identical modes of thought, the media should promote the variety of perspectives held by Aboriginal people through online exchanges like this one. While it is true that many Indigenous people share an awareness of colonialism’s long legacy, how we should respond to it is widely debated (Carlson & Bronwyn, 2019). As a result, maintaining diversity within newsrooms and producing content that is welcoming to all audiences is critical to the success of any media platform. Newsrooms and coverage that are more diverse and inclusive might better represent society, improve trust among audiences, and perhaps make new companies more lucrative.
The celebration of diversity is regarded as politically acceptable, and individuals who question the importance of variety are likely to be branded as bigots. Our society ought to be free and open, and the media ought to be a conduit for democracy rather than a tool for collective thinking; we ought to be conscious of the fact that minorities may also be closed-minded and engage in racial censorship, and we ought to be aware of these things. There is a problem with the practice of disregarding actual distinctions in order to satisfy the requirements of diversity. The composition of our journalists and coverage should be more representative regarding race, ethnicity, and gender. However, to achieve this goal in a meaningful way, it is necessary first to grasp the differences rather than the similarities across the various groups. Many communities’ values, interests, and cultures might vary significantly from one another as part of our efforts to encourage diversity.
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