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Diversity In Journalism (And PR?): There Isn’t Any

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Diversity in journalism (and PR?): There isn't any

In Chums, Simon Kuper’s excellent new book on how a small clique of Oxford graduates ended up in charge of almost everything, there is a bit on how the elites slide into top journalism jobs.

Broadly, they interview well and immediately start on the Daily Telegraph’s diary column. When it turns out they are no good, they move to the leader pages.

David Cameron avoided journalism and went straight into PR of course. And despite his advantages George Osborne somehow managed to get rejected by The Times and The Economist, giving an early indication of the talents that would later bless us all.

Boris’s sister Rachel Johnson opines that being a journalist allowed “a kind of projection of personality that going into a merchant bank…didn’t offer. It was the beginning of the cult of personality and of the development of your individual brand.”

That’s just what we need.

And so to the latest report on diversity in journalism from the NCTJ.

Quick capsule conclusion: There isn’t any.

While there has been an increase in the number of women employed in journalism so that they now make up the majority at 53% (we don’t know what that majority gets paid, but we can guess), the proportion from white ethnic groups is 92%. That’s down from 94%, but still.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, says: “The headline result…is that under-representation of diverse groups in journalism and reliance on graduates continues.”

The cruncher is this: Last year, 80% of those in journalism came from the very top social classes, up from 75% in 2020.

M’learned colleague Robyn Vinter tweets: “That’s an absolutely atrocious figure that we should be completely ashamed of. We simply do not represent the people we serve.”

How did I slip through the net? The best explanation is probably that editors who had never met me assumed I was related to the Daily Mail’s Sir David English and kept giving me jobs.

All this is surely an issue for the flak trade, since it recruits at least partly from journalism.

How will PR bosses hit their diversity targets if newspapers are stuck in 1975?

Our Find Out Now study today reveals that newspaper readers are much more diverse than the general population. You can see the results below.

Press release of the day

When does the slowing economy hit jobs? Not yet, suggests this from the REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation).

Last week there were 1.81 million job adverts in the UK, up 7% from the previous week.

That growth was in almost every role and local area.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said: “The data continues to show that employers across the UK are eager to hire new staff into their businesses. The number of new job postings has remained relatively stable for the past few weeks, despite concern about rising inflation.”

Stories that will keep rolling

1) What % flight capacity will BA hit this summer? What are its total Covid-related losses?

2) How badly has the City slowdown and lack of floats hit Numis?

3) How are bonds reacting to this week’s interest rate rises?

4) Is the US jobs market slowing or still growing?


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