Diversity

Interactive: Find out how diverse the newspaper industry is

The American newsroom has a diversity problem. According to the American Society of News Editors’ census released on Monday, the percentage of racial minorities at newspapers is now at 12.76 percent. With minorities making up 37.02 percent of the U.S. population, our newsrooms are not representative of the society we live in.

We used the data from the ASNE census to build a tool that helps explore the problem. Explore the interactive below to find out the representation that people of different demographics have in the American newspaper newsroom.

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NPR Visuals is trying to reduce the effects of privilege while hiring

Recently, NPR Visuals announced that they would allow applicants to resend cover letters for their fall internship positions. They felt that their hiring process had not been a level playing field for everyone.

The issue of diversity has been a topic of constant discussion within the journalism community. While BuzzFeed has tried to come up with an investigative fellowship for mid-career journalists of color, ProPublica launched an Emerging Reporters Program for student journalists of color.

So what led the NPR Visuals team to start the hiring process from all over again?

“I throw off every other cover letter that ledes with how much they love NPR. Or ‘I grew up listening to NPR in the backseat of a car‘. That is such a boring way to start a letter,” a manager joked while looking at intern applications at NPR. Read more

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Louise Brown walks down King Street during a Black Lives Matter march, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. The event honored the Emanuel AME Church shooting victims. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

The ‘Black Twitter’ beat raises questions of cultural competency and audience engagement for newsrooms

In her memo to Los Angeles Times staff about new hires and coverage strategies designed to tap into diverse communities, managing editor S. Mitra Kalita included a tweet-worthy phrase about the hire of Dexter Thomas, a writer assigned to cover Black Twitter: it really is “so much more complicated than that.”

It’s a phrase that should give newsroom leaders pause before they reconfigure their social media and audience engagement strategies without considering the historical context and demographic trends that underpin such a decision. There’s no portal to Black Twitter. No special password. The phenomenon is people-centric, with highly active Black users tweeting about issues of concern in our communities — just like many of Twitter’s other 236 millions users.

Some online reaction to the Times memo reflected concerns of corporate media surveillance. Read more

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A myth debunked: minorities may now be consuming more local news than whites, not less

pew-graphicThe Pew Research Center surveyed more than 3,600 news consumers in three cities last summer with a cluster of surprising results reported today.

Top of that list: Minorities — African-Americans in Macon and Hispanics in metropolitan Denver — follow local news more intently than do whites.  Moreover they were twice as likely as whites to “feel they can have a big impact on the city.”

Past surveys, including Pew’s own, have found minorities less educated, less wealthy and slightly less avid news consumers.  But those findings were for news generally rather than local matters.

Amy Mitchell, lead author of the report and director of Pew Research’s journalism division, agreed with me that the result jumped out.  “The numbers are pretty striking there,” for both interest and impact, she said in a phone interview, a much wider gap than is typical in demographic comparisons of news consumption. Read more

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Fox News diversity program marks 10th year

Fox News Channel’s Ailes Apprentice Program has graduated its 10th class. The diversity initiative, launched by Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, provides four people a paid yearlong deep dive into Fox News’ operations. Vice President of Fox News Latino Francisco Cortes was a 21-year-old production assistant when he got the tap in 2003.

“I was thinking I was getting a call from the newsroom director because I did something wrong,” he said. Cortes, who had recently left the U.S. Army, called the program “boot camp for up and coming journalists.” He would learn about various departments and “the ABCs of the business” from company executives he said, and the year culminated in meeting Ailes.

“You’re not just given a certificate, given a pat on the back,” Cortes said. Read more

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That time Ben Bradlee thanked Richard Nixon

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Remembering Ben Bradlee on Twitter: Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post’s incoming nonfiction book critic, began tweeting passages from Ben Bradlee‘s memoir, “A Good Life,” after the former Post executive editor died Tuesday. (@CarlosLozadaWP) | 196 or so tweets later, here’s a selection: “It would be ungrateful of me not to pause here and acknowledge the role of Richard Milhouse Nixon in furthering my career.” (@CarlosLozadaWP) | “Make no mistake about it: there is only one thing an editor must have to be a good editor, and that is a good owner.” (@CarlosLozadaWP) | “When a job candidate came in with good clips but was soft spoken and reticent, #Bradlee’s verdict: ‘Ehhh.
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University of Georgia j-school rescinds invitation to Liberian journalist

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. University of Georgia panics, rescinds invitation to Liberian journalist: It canceled Wade C.L. Williams‘ invitation to speak Oct. 23. “It just became abundantly clear we had a risk scenario and a situation on our hands that was a little more sensitive issue,” Grady College dean Charles N. Davis tells Brad Schrade. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) | Williams: “A woman with a pleasant voice delicately told me that parents were panicking and the general public was against my coming to the university.” (FrontPageAfrica) | What sort of lecture was UGA planning? “Ebola in humans is spread only through direct contact with virus-laden bodily fluids, and is not as transmissible as such airborne viruses as influenza and measles.” (WP) | Related: Why Guardian journalist Monica Mark decided not to wear a hazmat suit while reporting on Ebola: “It’s really difficult to get someone to open up to when you’re wearing it.” (IBT)
  2. The ethics of the Guardian’s Whisper scoop: Was it OK for it to report on something it learned during a meeting about a potential partnership?
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BuzzFeed wants to create a pipeline for investigative journalists of color

BuzzFeed (submitted photo)

BuzzFeed (submitted photo)

In March, everything Mark Schoofs had been noticing about all the white guys in journalism came together in one place — the Pulitzers.

Schoofs, investigations and projects editor at BuzzFeed News, was on the jury for the investigative reporting category of the Pulitzer Prizes. He read about 80 entries.

“It was overwhelmingly white and, by the way, overwhelmingly male,” said Shoofs, (who himself is a white guy who has won a Pulitzer.) And he thinks he knows why.

“What happens, I believe, is that all of the forces in our society that limit opportunities for people of color accumulate the higher up the ladder you go,” he said in a phone interview. “Rightly or wrongly, investigative reporting is considered a plum job, so I think it’s whiter than ‘regular reporting.’”

On Thursday, BuzzFeed and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism announced a new fellowship to try and start changing that. Read more

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Who’s doing diversity well? BuzzFeed

On Wednesday, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith publicly shared an email he sent to staff about diversity at BuzzFeed. It’s titled “What We’re Doing To Keep Building A Diverse Editorial Operation,” and it includes a definition of diversity, four reasons that it matters and five things editors should do when hiring.

BuzzFeed’s working definition of diversity is this: enough people of a particular group that no one person has to represent the supposed viewpoint of their group — whether ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, socioeconomic background, or disability. And if the group is a small one we should never expect one person to be the “diverse” reporter or writer, or to speak for anyone other than themselves.

BuzzFeed has a fairly even mix between women and men, according to the letter, and it’s still pretty white. Read more

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Who will screw up 9/11 remembrances today?

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. 13 years later: Newspaper front pages from Sept. 11, 2001, extra and p.m. editions (Poynter) and from Sept. 12, 2001 (Poynter) | 9/11 is so freighted that the intentions of media outlets and brands often go awry. Sydney, Australia’s Daily Telegraph “tweeted an image of New York during the 9/11 attacks to accompany its story on Australia’s terror threat level.” (BuzzFeed) | Last year Esquire ran the headline “Making Your Morning Commute More Stylish” next to Richard Drew‘s photo of a man falling from a WTC tower, then told horrified readers to “Relax.” (Poynter) | And AT&T doinked a terrible tribute tweet. (WP)
  2. Disrupters disrupt disruption: Disruption!
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