JMC Diversity Plan

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JMC Diversity Plan Progress Report 

MAY 2017

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) at Kent State University continues its commitment to diversity and inclusion as evident by the roles of the Diversity and Globalization Committee (DGC), the Student Voice Team (SVT) and the faculty and staff of JMC in creating, supporting and executing strategic initiatives within the school. In addition, JMC’s collaboration with the CCI Diversity Team and the new CCI Office of Academic Diversity Outreach have helped support diversity programs and actions throughout the entire college.

Lack of diversity is an ongoing issue across multiple media and public communication industry platforms.

In US. newsrooms last year, African-American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American journalists combined comprised only 17 percent of the total workforce (American Society of Newspaper Editors, 2016). Twenty-eight percent of news organizations reported having at least one minority journalist among their top three editors and 77 percent reported having at least one woman in a top-three position.

Gender inequities are also evident in the public relations industry. While women make up more than 60 percent of the workforce, men hold the majority of leadership positions. Racial minorities are also underrepresented in the industry, across all levels. Racial diversity remains lower in proportion to the US population (Mundy, 2016).

Diversity issues are reflected in fictional representations as well. A report on inclusion in fictional films, TV shows, and digital series distributed by 10 major media companies revealed that one third of speaking characters were women, 28 percent were from minority groups, and only two percent were identified as LGBT (University of Southern California Annenberg Report on Diversity, 2016).

That same study demonstrated a concern behind the camera as well. For every one female screenwriter there were 2.5 male screenwriters, and that that “out of the 407 directors evaluated, 13 percent were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups...only two of the 53 underrepresented directors in film and television/digital series were Black women.” (University of Southern California Annenberg Report on Diversity, 2016, pp. 9-10).

The mission of JMC’s Diversity and Globalization Committee ​is four-fold. It focuses on Institutional Climate, Culture and Community Relationships; Student Access, Recruitment, and Success; Education and Scholarship; ​and​ Institutional Accountability. ​

This report updates the School’s Diversity Plan, which is Goal #3 of the School’s Strategic Plan, and highlights the School’s 2015-2016 academic year accomplishments for each objective.

Download the JMC Diversity Plan 2017 Progress Report