Scripps TV stations join NAHJ's Parity Project to diversify newsrooms, improve news coverage
Fri, November 04, 2005 by Mark Kroeger
CINCINNATI – The E. W. Scripps Company’s broadcast television station group is becoming a partner in the Parity Project, a program established by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to improve the quality of news coverage of the Hispanic community and to increase the number of Latinos working in the nation’s newsrooms.Scripps is the country’s first television station group to become a Parity Project partner.“By partnering with NAHJ, we believe we can enhance the ongoing efforts to diversify our newsrooms and strengthen our connection journalistically with the Hispanic community, especially in Scripps television markets with significant Latino populations,” said Adam Symson, director of news strategy and operations for Scripps television stations. “Becoming a Parity Project partner provides us with an excellent opportunity to broaden our horizons and better serve one of the country’s fastest-growing population groups.”The Scripps television station group joins the company’s newspaper division as a Parity Project partner. Scripps newspapers have been active participants in the NAHJ program since its launch in 2003, increasing the number of Latino journalists they employ by as much as 50 percent or more in key markets. Of the company’s 21 daily newspapers, 11 are Parity Project participants. Scripps plans to begin implementing its television station group’s Parity Project partnership in 2006, starting at its NBC-affiliated station in West Palm Beach, Fla., WPTV, and its ABC-affiliated station in Phoenix, KNXV.“NAHJ is thrilled to build upon the excellent relationship we have with Scripps by working with its broadcast television station group,” said NAHJ Deputy Director Joseph Torres. “Scripps continues to demonstrate its commitment to journalism excellence by reaching out to Latino journalists and the Latino community. The company is making sure that its news coverage is reflective of the informational needs of the community.”To achieve its goal of dramatically increasing the number of Latino journalists, the NAHJ Parity Project focuses its efforts on cities with large and growing Latino populations. The organization strives to develop long-term partnerships with media companies and news organizations, the Latino population in the targeted communities and local journalism educators. Since it was launched two years ago, 19 news organizations have become Parity Project partners, including 16 newspapers, two television stations and one national radio network. During the first two years of the Parity Project, the number of Latino journalists working at partnering companies increased by 49 percent. The organization also has sponsored town hall meetings attracting more than 1,000 participants and has conducted nearly two dozen cultural awareness sessions with more than 850 newsroom professionals.About ScrippsThe E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, electronic commerce, interactive media, and licensing and syndication. In addition to WPTV and KNXV, Scripps owns and operates ABC-affiliated television stations in Detroit (WXYX); Cleveland (WEWS); Cincinnati (WCPO); Baltimore (WMAR); and Tampa (WFTS); and NBC affiliates in Kansas City, Mo., (KSHB) and Tulsa, Okla., (KJRH). Scripps also operates one independent station in Lawrence, Kan., (KMCI). The Scripps portfolio of media properties also includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living, Great American Country and HGTVPro; daily and community newspapers in 18 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service; 10 broadcast TV stations, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent; United Media, a leading worldwide licensing and syndication company that is the home of PEANUTS, DILBERT and approximately 150 other features and comics; Shop At Home, which markets a growing range of consumer goods directly to television viewers in roughly 55 million U.S. households and online through shopathometv.com; and Shopzilla, the online comparison shopping service that carries an index of more than 30 million products from approximately 55,000 merchants.