I recently had an interview for an internship, and surprisingly, they asked me a question about diversity. I am studying to be a journalist, and I believe a person in this position requires a fair amount of diversity in order to be successful and have interesting writings. The question they asked was: “In what ways do you think diversity is important to, or affects the role of, a journalist?”
This is a question that I have never heard of in the media world, but when it was asked aloud, I realized how important diversity is in the media.
The purpose of every media source – newspapers, magazines, social media, etc. – was put in place in order to provide diverse information to everybody and about everybody. Before the printed press was invented, newspapers were only provided to the upper class. Now, everybody who has access to the internet also has access to various media sources online for free.
While diversity is vital for the continuation of printed and non-printed media sources, it is also very important for the journalists who write for these sources. They need to have a diverse audience to keep their job, a diverse social network to be successful, and diverse topics to keep their readers interested. Even news and media sources that are targeting a specific audience need to remain diverse.
For example, my dad is a farmer and we constantly receive various farming magazines in the mail. It is very unlikely that anyone who is not a farmer subscribes to these sources; however, they still have a diverse audience. Farming in Iowa is very different from farming in Florida, or Ohio, or even Minnesota. Other than the products which are grown in such locations, there are also subtle changes in weather, soil nutrients, local pests, etc. Therefore, this source includes articles which are relevant to all farmers in general with articles about technological advances in machinery, international pesticide/herbicide/fungicide rules, the crop market, etc.
Personally, my favorite media source is Reader’s Digest because it is so diverse. It includes news articles, relevant comic strips, inspirational/survival stories, politics, etc.
In the end, diversity plays a major role in the journalism career in terms of writing, interviewing, and choosing topics to write about for the audience to enjoy. Without diversity in the media, every media source would be the same. Diversity allows freedom for journalists as there are so many topics to be discussed and people to talk to in the world.