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The "D" inThe Columbus Dispatch does not stand for Diversity unless you define Diversity as "middle-aged white males."

Diversity is defined by Merriam-Webster as "the condition of having or being composed of differing elements (especially through) the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization."

This inclusion appears to be not taking place at the Dispatch. A look at the pictures of the individuals listed below indicates a sameness in gender and race:

The CEO of New Media Investments, the owner of the Dispatch, is Kirk Davis, a middle-aged white male.

The president and publisher of the paper is Bradley Harmon, a middle-aged white male.

White Male, White Male, White Male, Etc.

The editor is Alan Miller, a middle-aged white male.

The editorial page editor is Glenn Sheller, a middle-aged white male.

The editorial cartoonist is Nate Beeler, a middle-aged white male. 

The newly named metro columnist is Theodore Decker, a middle-aged white male.

The sports editor is Ray Stein, a middle-aged white male.

The two major sports columnists, Michael Arace and Bob Hunter, are  middle-aged while males. I have yet to see a female or minority sports reporter pictured on the sports pages.

The business page columnists Mark Williams, Jim Weiker and Dan Gearino are all middle-aged white males.

The major feature page columnist Joe Blundo appears to be another, you guessed it, middle-aged white male.

The chief political reporter and columnist Darrel Rowland is a middle-aged white male.

Most of the above journalists are regularly pictured with their work on the front page of a section except for Beeler (who may be too busy trying to make a fool out of President Obama and a hero out of Governor Kasich to sit still for a photograph).

It is true that there are a few prominent white female journalists pictured, but they tend to appear on inside pages (subjugated by placement compared to the men) and writing compendiums of tidbits rather than full-blown, single-issue columns.

Women Relegated To Feature Sections

The women columnists who regularly are pictured on the front pages of feature sections and are writing about food and travel rather than writing about the hard news, such as crime, government and politics, that the men almost exclusively cover. I guess the brass at the Dispatch believes that the hard news in Columbus, Franklin County and central Ohio can best be covered and commented on by middle-aged white males.

U.S. Census data show that of the 1.25 million residents of Franklin County, 51 percent are female, 26 percent are middle-aged (that is ages 40-59, so roughly 13 percent of the county's population is middle-aged whites), 69 percent white, 22 percent Black, five percent Asian and five percent Hispanic. It has been reported that four percent of the county's population is LBGT.

I do not doubt that the Dispatch tries to cover all the gender, age, racial and sexual orientation diversity among its potential readers, but with its leaders and key journalists almost exclusively middle-aged white males, the Dispatch is clearly failing to represent the region's diversity from a symbolic perspective.

Much like the Dispatch harms its business prospects with its persistent "Obama Hate" on its editorial page in a county that voted 60 percent for Obama in 2012, the newspaper's diversity shortcomings are harming its business plan in increasingly diverse Franklin County and central Ohio      

It does not have to be this way. Out west last week, I had the opportunity to read the San Francisco Chronicle. Its key writers and editors who were pictured were shown to be a diverse mix of female, Black, Hispanic, Asian and white.

The Dispatch could and should do the same.

Double Dose Of Bad News

There was a double dose of bad news at the Dispatch this month.

The owners are seeking more voluntary buyouts of veteran staffers and hinting that layoffs will follow if there are not enough takers. This can be bad news for readers as staff cuts tend to result in a lesser quality of journalism.

A major stock rating service downgraded New Media Investments, the Dispatch's parent, and caused a one-day drop in the stock price of 10 percent.

A Lie Can Get Halfway Around The World...    

GOP Sen. Rob Portman's shadowy supporters have spent $30 million on TV ads telling Ohioans that Ted Strickland, his Democratic opponent, was a lousy governor and a sketchy person. The dirty money has turned a double-digit deficit in the polls into a nearly double-digit lead for Portman.

Severely underfunded Ted finally has gotten around to answering with TV ads, but it may be too little and too late. It may become another example of the old adage: a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth gets out of bed.

Prominent supporters of Ted should have formed a Truth Squad and toured the state setting the record straight.

Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, who stuck his neck out and lost big to Ted in the primary and hurt Ted's chances in the process, should be leading the charge to get Ted elected, but, instead,  he is touring the state promoting P.G. Sittenfeld for a future race. Very bad form.

Hackers Needed To Expose Kasich's Political ATM

Maybe the only way to obtain Governor John Kasich's travel records and expenditures of taxpayers' money on behalf of his failed presidential campaign is to offer a bounty to those hackers who dig up deep dark secrets that embarrass politicians.

The governor continues to use the Ohio treasury at a political ATM. He is tapping the taxpayers for his 2020 presidential campaign travels (New Hampshire, anyone?) and his trips on behalf of Republicans running for the U.S. Senate, including Portman.

The Statehouse media should issue daily reports of Kasich's political travels, the time he spends not being governor, and a running tab of the estimated cost to the taxpayers. I estimate the latter is well over $1 million.

Channel 6 News seems to be trying. It asked Kasich if he would be paying back the state money spent on his political forays and he said “no.”

We Still Want To Know From The Governor

How much did Ohio taxpayers pay for security and travel during your presidential campaign?

Will you pay it back?

Why did you fail to visit the folks near Piketon whose eight family members and friends were massacred?

Why did you renege on your oft-stated pledge to support the nominee, Trump?

Quickie:  It is hard to believe that where Mayor Andy Ginther and his wife Shannon chose to send their daughter to school was page one news in the Dispatch. Minor children of politicians should be spared news coverage unless they commit a crime. News coverage is better devoted to Ginther's dodgy fund-raising tactics and his performance as mayor.

Poetic Injustice

Rich cultural fabric
Of central Ohio
Missing from faces
In daily chronicler           

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(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2016, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved)aHar


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