Learning to Diversify the Media Labour Force

Errol Salamon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A long quest for diversity in the media labour force began in the United States in 1967, after President Lyndon B. Johnson established the Kerner Commission to investigate the causes of race riots in the country. According to the Commission’s 1968 Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, also known as the Kerner Report, “Our Nation [sic] is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal” (Kerner Commission 1968, 1). Condemning white racism, the report criticized the news media for failing to “analyze and report adequately on racial problems in the United States” (ibid., 203). The report concluded, “By and large, news organizations have failed to communicate to both their black and white audiences a sense of the problems America faces and the sources of potential solutions. The media report and write from the standpoint of a white man’s world” (1). To remedy this failure, the Kerner Report recommended that news organizations employ enough African Americans “in positions of significant responsibility to establish an effective link to [African American] actions and ideas and to meet legitimate employment expectations. Tokenism…is no longer enough” (211). Beyond the news media, the Kerner Report also thought that “[African Americans] should appear more frequently in dramatic and comedy [television] series” (212).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalSynoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

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