Evolving roles of women and minorities in The New York Times
When walking through The New York Times office building, two specific walls stand out. One shows pictures of annual Pulitzer Prize winners from the newspaper, and the second holds images of The New York Times newsroom throughout the years. One aspect ties these walls together: the evolution of women and minority roles within the press.
Earlier black-and-white pictures of The New York Times show young, white men gathered together with cigarettes hanging from their mouths. As the years progress, few white women are added into the mix. Then, flash forward to pictures from 2018; which feature more minorities and women than ever before.
Until 1950, only white people won Pulitzer prizes, and if a woman were lucky enough to write a newspaper article for The New York Times, it would certainly be about cooking, housekeeping, or fashion.
Large media platforms such as the New York Times produce current event stories about every part of the country and world, and provide information for the American people. Can they do this effectively if only a portion of Americans are represented within the press?
The answer is no.
According to The New York Times, diversity “enriches our report, because journalists with diverse backgrounds reflect the society we cover. It’s critical for our business, because The Times must reach new audiences in order to grow. And it’s important for our people, who thrive in a workplace that is fair, inclusive and rewarding to everyone.”
Of all staff members in The New York Times, 50 percent are women and 28% are people of color. Although they are still working on improving diversity, The New York Times is one of the most diverse major newspapers.
“The Times is among many newsrooms that have put a big emphasis on hiring more journalists who are women and people of color in recent years, which can only make our journalism more thoughtful and wide-ranging,” said New York Times advertisement reporter Sapna Maheshwari, an East Lyme graduate. “For example, it’s hard to see how the Times could have won a Pulitzer for its #MeToo reporting without all the incredible and smart women journalists who worked on those stories (including Emily Steel, [another EL graduate]).”
Including as many people (including women and minorities) to represent news in the media is greatly important when it comes to informing the American people, and it is something The New York Times embraces.