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Chasing Newsroom DiversityFrom Jim Crow to Affirmative Action$
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Gwyneth Mellinger

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037382

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037382.001.0001

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“A Sensitive and Difficult Task”

“A Sensitive and Difficult Task”

Establishing a Framework for Newsroom Integration, 1977–89

(p.74) 3 “A Sensitive and Difficult Task”
Chasing Newsroom Diversity

Gwyneth Mellinger

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the hiring initiative as a historically, politically, and socially contingent event; and covers the period of greatest racial instability within ASNE, roughly 1977 through the 1980s. During the 1970s, public consciousness about lingering discrimination was heightened, as were a sense of racial and ethnic pride among nonwhites, and feminism among women. But the rising momentum of pro-equality efforts was checked by political cross-current. Many white Americans of the late 1970s, even if they believed opportunities for nonwhites were unjustly unequal, objected to the use of quotas to enforce equality, and the frequency of the term “reverse discrimination,” which referred to the denial of opportunities for whites to compensate nonwhites for past injustice, attested to the growth of an anti-affirmative action backlash.

Keywords:   ASNE, hiring initiative, racial instability, reverse discrimination, anti-affirmative action, affirmative action, pro-equality efforts

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