- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2006

SEATTLE (AP) — The number of minority journalists in U.S. newsrooms rose slightly last year, the American Society of Newspaper Editors reported at its annual meeting this week.

“I’m glad to see that in a tough economic year for most newspapers, there was progress in minority hiring and retention, albeit slight,” said ASNE President Rick Rodriguez, executive editor of the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee. “But the numbers also show that we still have an awful long way to go to reach our benchmarks and ultimately our goal of parity. That continues to be frustrating.”

According to ASNE’s annual newsroom census, the percentage of minorities working in American newsrooms increased to 13.87 percent last year, up from 13.42 percent in 2004 — but nearly five percentage points behind a goal ASNE set six years ago.

“The country is changing faster and more dramatically than our newspapers and newsrooms,” said ASNE Diversity Chairwoman Sharon Rosenhause, managing editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

ASNE reported that full-time U.S. newsroom employment was 54,134, down from 56,393 in 2001.

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