I came across this study that was just published by Media Matters in America titled, “Gender And Ethnic Diversity in Prime-Time Cable News” – where the non-profit media watchdog group examined four programs on each of the three cable news networks during prime time, and recorded the gender and ethnicity of every guest who appeared during the month of May 2008 (nearly 1,700 guest appearances in all.) The results:
“A number of ethnic groups were shut out entirely, or nearly so, on some networks. During the month of May, Fox News and MSNBC each featured a single Asian-American guest. Across the three cable networks, there were only four appearances by guests of Middle Eastern descent, two on Fox and two on CNN. There was not a single appearance by a Native American during the entire month.”
Just as I had blogged about in the business world, it seems like the only newsworthy and trustworthy source of news primarily comes from white males. Of those appearing on a news program, 1.1% of the guests were Asian American. Considering that Asian Americans have the highest average education and average income of all groups in America (including whites), you think the cable news shows would have no problem finding experts in their field who happen to be Asian American? Especially in large metro markets where these cable news stations have studios in (NYC, D.C., Los Angeles).
What I find really shocking is the lack of representation by those of Middle Eastern decent – considering that we are waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and trying to bring peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. I’ve got to think that there are some naturalized and native born Middle Eastern Americans who are experts in the region, right?