Few mm or ities write te news,
WASHINGTON (AP) - At a time
when blacks and other minorities play a
bigger part in American society, almost
all the news in almost all the nation's
newspapers is written by staffs that are
Of the 50,000 journalists on America's
1,700 daily newspapers, about 1,500 are
black, 650 Hispanic, 430 are of Asian
ancestry and 10 are American Indians.
Ninety-seven percent -of newspapers
executives are white.
"ALMOST TWO-thirds of
newspapers don't even have a token,"
says John Seigenthaler, who heads the
committee on minorities of the
American Society of Newspaper
Editors and, as editor and publisher of
the Nashville Tennessean, presides
over an integrated newsroom.
Adds David Lawrence, executive
editor of the Detroit Free Press: "We
are perceived as a business that is a
white establishment business, and the
reality is that we are a white establish-
ment business. There is very little to
suggest in our profession that blacks
are going to get to run anything."
Minority journalists argue that it is
necessary to integrate America's news
rooms, not just to benefit minorities but
to make the papers better.
ALMOST EVERY black journalist
(Continued from Page 1)
Police immediately seized the
assailant, identified as Lee Chun Kyu,
22, a student at Myongji College. They
said he had a history of mental
There were reports before the pope
began his 10-day tour of Asia that
terrorists'might try to attack him in
Korea. At the time, U.S. intelligence of-
ficials confirmed they had heard repor-
ts of a planned attack against the pope.
It was the third major incident in-
volving the pope.
"The man, who looked like a college
student, came from near me and stood
right in front of the Pope," said one
witness, Lee Soo Jin, 16, a high school
Lee said she heard one shot.
It was unclear what sort of weapon
had been used. One report said the
pistol was an airgun, another it was a
toy or a homemade gun. Witnesses said
the weapon broke into at least three
pieces when the assaillant threw it to
'We are perceived as a business that is a white
establishment business, and the reality is that we
are a white establishment business. There is very
little to suggest in our profession that blacks are
going to get to run anything.'
Detroit Free Press
can tell about news his paper would
have missed if it had no black repor-
Acel Moore of the Philadelphia
Inquirer won a Pulitzer prize in 1977 for
revealing the mistreatment of patients
at a hospital for the criminally insane.
Moore said the story came from a for-
mer patient who is black, "a man who
mistrusts whites" and who wouldn't
have talked to a white reporter.
In 1977, a society of the nation's
editors resolved to try by the year 2000
to make their staffs representative of
the U.S. population, which is 20 percent
BUT THOSE who watch the situation
closest - members of the American
Society of Newspaper Editors
minorities committee - say the odds of
achieving that goal range "somewhere
between slim and none."
A new ASNE minorities report comes
out at the society's convention this
week, and those who have seen it say it
reflects scant change.
"There's no sense of urgency about
hiring minorities any longer," says Al
Fitzpatrick, minority affairs coor-
dinator of the Knight-Ridder group of
newspapers, a pacesetter organization
where minorites make up 9.3 percent of
the news staffs.
"EDITORS WON'T admit it," Fit-
zpatrick says, "but they don't feel as
compelled as they once did."
The smallest newspapers are those
least likely to hire journalists with skins
other than white. Small papers are the
traditional training groups for repor-
ters, and their slowness to hire
minorities makes it harder for non-
whites to land a starting job.
Fitzpatrick says the newspaper
business felt an urgency about in-
tegrating following' the civil rights
demonstrations and the urban riots of
BUT NOWADAYS at editors' conven-
tions, "when it comes time for the
minoritiescommittee to give its report,
most of them takea break," he says.
Some editors say their business is to
publish the news, not - as one New
Englander put it - "to embark in social
But others are making strenuous' ef-
forts to find minority journalists.
They are sending minority reporters
onto campuses to talk up the newspaper
business as a place to work, hiring
minority interns for summer training,
employing minority journalism
teachers in the summers and sending
recruiters onto predominantly black
Editors, journalism educators and
minority journalists don't always agree
on why their business remains so
" Some think there just aren't enough
See MINORITIES, Page5
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