A report by the Center for Media and Public Affairs shows that “minority and women reporters continued to lose visibility on network evening news during 1996.” Only 9 percent of stories were told by a minority reporter, down from 12 percent in 1995 and 14 percent in 1994. Women reported about 16 percent of news stories, down from 21 percent in 1995 and 25 percent in 1994.

Newspapers are not doing much better. Minorities made up only 11 percent of the total newsroom work force in 1996. About 24 percent of the general population is comprised of minority group members.

How do you think news people would respond to any other industry that was clearly guilty of prima facie racism and sexism? They’d fry ’em. But they give themselves the benefit of the doubt, and still find time to blame their usual suspects.

Take University of North Carolina journalism professor Chuck Stone (please!), who told Editor & Publisher: “The country is in a state of racial reverse, with polarization between the races, the assult on affirmative action, the O.J. trial backlash. It’s all been documented. Newspapers are not immune to this. The corporate culture of Texaco also affects newspapers.”

That darn budget deal

Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute confirms what we had already reported about the budget deal: That it offers up more government spending than Clinton proposed last year.

“All of this extra spending is said to be justified in order to resuscitate ‘vital domestic investments’ suffocating from years of fiscal neglect,” premises Moore. “Over the past 10 years, 1988-97, federal domestic spending has soared from $622 billion to $1.16 trillion. After adjustments for inflation, this is an increase of 40 percent.”

The Chris Ruddy report

Investigative reporter Christopher Ruddy’s long-awaited book, “The Strange Death of Vincent Foster,” will be out in a matter of weeks. Meanwhile, a video the hatchet job “60 Minutes” did on Ruddy and the Western Journalism Center is also set for release. The Western Journalism Center, parent company of WND, will keep you posted on these projects near and dear to our hearts.

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