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"Record levels of births among minorities in the past decade are moving the USA a step closer to a demographic milestone in which no group commands a majority, new Census estimates show," Haya El Nasser reported Friday for USA Today, in the lead story for its weekend edition.

"Minorities accounted for almost 49% of U.S. births in the year ending July 1, 2009, a record high, according to data released Thursday. They make up more than half the population in 317 counties - about 1 in 10 - four states (California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Texas) and the District of Columbia.

"The USA TODAY Diversity Index shows increases in every state since 2000. The index was created to measure how racially and ethnically diverse the population is. It uses the percentage of each race counted by the Census Bureau - white, black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian - and Hispanic ethnicity to calculate the chance that any two people are from different groups. The scale ranges from 0 (no diversity) to 100.

"The 2009 national index is 52, up from 47 in 2000. That means that the chance of two randomly selected people being different is slightly more than half. In 1980, the index was 34, a 1-in-3 chance.

"The level of diversity varies widely from region to region - from as high as 79 in Hawaii and 68 in California to as low as 10 in Maine and Vermont and 13 in West Virginia.

"Much of the rapid growth in diversity is driven by an influx of young Hispanic immigrants whose birthrates are higher than those of non-Hispanic whites, creating a race and ethnic chasm and a widening age gap. 'There are more than 500 counties which have a majority of minority children,' says Kenneth Johnson, demographer at the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute. 'The population is changing to minority from the bottom up.'"

The American Society of News Editors has set a goal of having the percentage of minorities working in newsrooms nationwide equal to the percentage of minorities in the nation's population by 2025. Currently, minorities make up 33 percent of the U.S. population. The percentage of minorities in the most recent newsroom survey was 13.26 percent.

3 U.S. Black Columnists in S. Africa Covering World Cup

In addition, "Univision... well, they're maximizing the fact they own the exclusive Spanish-language broadcast rights to 'el mundial' in the U.S. There's cross-promotion galore on all their shows and it seems like all of the network's on-air talent is in South Africa," Veronica Villafañe reported on her Media Moves site.

Also in South Africa: "Daniela Rodriguez, an aspiring TV reporter from Houston," who  "beat out more than 1,000 other contestant on ESPN Deportes 'Dream Job: The Reporter' reality show last month, winning the opportunity to do on-air reporting on the Mexican World Cup team from South Africa," Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reported from Johannesburg. Rodriguez is an account executive for an advertising agency who entered the competition on a lark in December.

And as reported previously, professor Joe Ritchie of Florida A&M University planned to take six FAMU students to South Africa, meeting six journalism students from Shantou University in China. The two groups are collaborating on multimedia coverage of the Cup and of life in South Africa in general. Their work is being posted atwww.famustu.net/worldcup.

"The reason South Africa was readmitted to the world's sports arena in the early '90s was because an armed struggle waged by the country's oppressed, coupled with international pressure - like that from those world sporting bodies, and protesters I joined who marched and sported anti-Krugerrand buttons - made apartheid defunct," he wrote.

"South Africa is a shining example of the good sports can do for society. In the wake of widespread international condemnation of Israel's botched commando raid last week that killed nine people on a humanitarian aid flotilla headed to the Gaza Strip - where Palestinians live under what Nobel-prize winning South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, also on my flight, once said is Israel's apartheid-like thumb - could it not be time for sport to illuminate Israel's deadly occupation of Palestinians?

"Maybe a sports boycott of Israel, where sports are beloved the same as in South Africa, could help foster a round of truly meaningful peace talks between Israel and Palestinians. Maybe such a collective effort could exercise the same leverage on Israel that it did for nearly 30 years with South Africa."

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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.