New Reports Document Loss of Good Jobs for Women & Minorities in the Communications & Media Industries

Media 07.25.06

Women and minorities are losing out as a result of consolidation of media ownership and the rise of new media industries.

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF) along with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) today released reports documenting the civil rights concerns resulting from this trend. These data-rich reports highlight the effect that regulatory, industry, and technological changes are having on the quality and quantity of jobs for women and minorities in the communications and media industries.

The reports track employment trends and their implications, finding that unionized, blue-collar and office jobs in traditional media once led to a middle-class lifestyle, with good opportunities for women and minorities. Now, lower-paying jobs in new communications media are replacing them.

IWPR’s new report, Making the Right Call: Jobs and Diversity in the Communications and Media Sector, analyzes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the EEOC, and the U.S. Census Bureau, finding that the growth of “new” digital and cable media relegates women and minorities to lower-paying jobs without the union protections and higher earnings of the traditional wireline media. The report is available at:

The LCCREF analysis, Employment Trends in the Communications and Media Industries, discusses how rapid media consolidation over the last decade threatens the quality of job opportunities for women and minorities.

“Diversity in communications is the civil rights issue of the 21st century – one that our nation has yet to take seriously,” said Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) and counselor to LCCR’s public education arm, LCCREF. “The concentration of control of media and technology in the hands of a few threatens our nation’s progress in living up to its ideals of equality and opportunity.”

“The way the digital divide affects workers is often overlooked. Women and minorities have long seen stable, unionized, higher-paid jobs in wired communications. Our report shows that with the expansion of technologies, access to high-quality jobs in the Communications and Media sectors is diminishing,” notes IWPR president Dr. Heidi Hartmann.

Linda Foley, president of The Newspaper Guild-CWA, added, “The concentration of media ownership by corporate giants exacerbates the historic under-representation of women and minorities in our media industries. Preserving and expanding diversity of media ownership is absolutely critical to growing employment for women and minorities in the media industry.”

Congress is considering reform of the nation’s communications laws. The LCCREF report also contains recommendations that consider the impact that changes in these industries are having on jobs for women and minorities.

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