In the Times, 95 percent of the U.S. authors of political books were non-Latino whites. The reviewer roster at the Times was even less ethnically diverse: Just 4 percent of U.S. reviewers of political books were people of color. On C-SPAN, non-Latino whites accounted for 93 percent of the U.S. authors appearing as guests. Of the 99 U.S. interviewers who appeared, 14 were people of color.
The numbers on gender were likewise unbalanced, with men the dominant presence in both outlets. In the Times, women made up just 13 percent of the authors and 12 percent of the reviewers. On After Words, women were 24 percent of the authors and 31 percent of the interviewers.
The ideas that get promoted, who does that promotion and how they do it are all important to the task of keeping our information-based society well-informed enough to make reasonable, non-insane political judgments. Many of us love to pat ourselves on the back for the amount of progress America has made in terms of fairness, equality of opportunity, etc. But then you look at numbers like those above and in the full report, remember that it is 2010 and realize we have so much more to do.
For some groups doing great work in this area, check out:
Any others? Post them in the comments.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris
Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats