The impact of minority TV news directors on ratings

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White, Linda R.
Blom, Robin
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Journalism
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This study examined the impact of minority TV news directors on ratings in New Orleans, a Top 50 television market in the United States. Prior research pointed to a lack of newsroom diversity but did not necessarily illustrate the impact of a diverse newsroom nor the potential influence diverse TV news directors may have on audience ratings. This mixed-method study included interviews with three minority current and former news directors as well as a content analysis of 6 p.m. newscasts from the New Orleans television market. Geographic Information Science Mapping Technology (GIS) with U.S. Census data was used to determine if news stories occurred within majority minority neighborhoods and communities. The findings suggest diverse television news directors encouraged more coverage of minority communities and found partial support for a minority news directors impact on ratings. This research could influence not just academic literature on this subject within journalism, sociology, and diversity-related disciplines but how television newsrooms could be operated to include more diversity in front of and behind the television cameras as well as diversity within the content or coverage of minority communities.