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Robert C. Maynard, an editorial writer for The Washington Post, told a group of 25 in a Nieman Foundation Seminar yesterday that journalism discriminates against women and minority group members more than almost any other profession.
Maynard, a past member of the Nieman Selection Committee and a panelist in the second Ford-Carter debate, said only about 1 per cent of journalists on the major newspapers in the United States are either members of minority groups or women, while 3 per cent of doctors and lawyers are members of those groups.
Women and minority groups accounted for only one-fifth of one per cent of all journalists in the 1960s, he added.
The firing practices of local American papers represents a major cause for the low minority hiring rate of the larger national newspapers, Maynard said. The local papers, which serve as steppingstones to jobs on larger papers, hire virtually no minority group members or women, thus limiting their representation on the larger papers, he said.
Nancy Maynard, the speaker's wife and a reporter at the Washington bureau of the New York Times, is presently involved in a suit charging that the Times discriminates against its women reporters.
Of the seven lowest-paid reporters at the bureau, five are women, two of whom have had over 30 years of experience in journalism, she said.
Her husband said there was little that he personally could do about the discriminatory hiring practices in journalism, because it is part of a more deep-seated social problem
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