2012’s Greatest Diversity Hits

A look back at the memorable moments of the last 12 months.

Digital Vision/Thinkstock
Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Diversity’s Greatest Hits, 2012

1. Neither GOP Nor News Media Looked Like America

2. Social Media Can Mean Trouble: Ask Martin, Whitlock, Lee or Williams

3. Trayvon Martin Case

4. Unity Coalition Changes Course

5. New NAHJ Leadership After Brutal Campaign

6. The Numbers

7. Fellowship Breakthrough at Stanford

8. NBC News to Pay Its Interns

9. Milestone: White Births No Longer a Majority

10. Newhouse Papers Cut Back on Print Editions

Most Popular “Journal-isms” Columns of 2012

A year in the quest for news media that look like America.

1. Neither GOP Nor News Media Looked Like America

When the presidential campaign of 2012 finally ended with the reelection of President Obama, among the Election Day surprises was the demographic composition of the losing Republican base.

. . . When it comes to audience, the American newspaper industry looks a lot like the Republican Party,” Ken Doctor wrote two days later for the Nieman Journalism Lab. “Consequently, its business reversals parallel the deepening Republican national electoral woes. The newspaper audience looks remarkably like the arithmetic that put Mitt Romney on the losing end Tuesday and is forcing Republicans to self-assess how to move forward. . . . The daily industry is doing okay with older, white people — mildly overperforming in print, digital, and combined.

“Among all other ethnic groups except Asian-Americans — off the charts with high overperformance for online news usage — newspapers are underperforming. They, like Mitt Romney, aren’t getting their share of the fastest growing population slices in the U.S. . . .”

Perhaps not coincidentally, the news media underestimated Obama’s ability to turn out the very groups underrepresented in the news media.

In October, the 4th Estate, a nonpartisan project to aggregate data around the 2012 elections, showed that more than 93 percent of front page articles on the presidential election were written by white reporters.