Some of the notable changes to this year's survey include:
- The inclusion of LGBTQ journalists through self-reported survey data. Developed in conjunction with the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, this survey tool will empower individual LGBTQ-identifying journalists to be counted as part of the diverse populations in U.S. newsrooms.
- A series of case studies from the survey data designed to highlight challenges and triumphs in recruiting and retaining staff from diverse backgrounds.
- Data visualizations powered by the Google News Lab to measure newsroom parity with shifting demographics in geographically defined communities.
"We all know that our communities are changing faster than our newsrooms, said ASNE President Nancy Barnes, SVP/News for NPR. "We also know that to affect change, we need to measure and track our progress. A small investment in time will yield important data and perspective for us all. I want to thank news organizations in advance for your support and participation."
Supported by the Democracy Fund, the Google News Lab, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the 2019 diversity survey, as well as the follow-up project, will be led by Meredith Clark, assistant professor of the University of Virginia's Department of Media Studies, and her research team.
"Changes to this year's survey reflect the challenges that contemporary news outlets are grappling with today. The questions are an extension of ASNE's commitment to drive the quest for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in news content across all platforms," Clark said. "Today's 'newsrooms' exist in multiple forms, from a brick-and-mortar shop powered by a handful of salaried staff and a host of contract laborers, to a networked group of journalism expats creating the digital startups that underserved communities rely on for news and information.
"We have also given careful consideration to meaningful inclusion of queer-identifying journalists. We've added non-binary options for tracking demographic shifts along the line of gender in the core survey, and have developed a self-administered survey to reflect the representation of LGBTQIA+ journalists across the country, recognizing that workplace anti-discrimination policies have yet to be enacted at the federal level,"
The self-administered survey for queer-identifying journalists will go into the field on Monday, April 15.
Participation in the survey is crucial to build more diverse and inclusive journalism communities. ASNE asks all newsrooms in the nation to be transparent like The New York Times, ProPublica and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle in releasing their diversity numbers this year and demonstrating their commitment to equality and representation in journalism.
"America is changing rapidly, and more than ever, the importance of diversity and inclusion are pivotal to our news gathering and news gatherers. We must better reflect the changing dynamics in the country. This is non-negotiable, especially as we work diligently to reach new audiences in ways that resonate as authentic and trustworthy sources of information that matter to them," said ASNE Diversity Committee Co-Chair Hollis Towns, Northeast Region Group Editor of USA Today Network. "Unfortunately, we have lost ground in our goal to drive more diversity in our newsrooms, which also affects how and why we do what do. That's why this survey is so critical. Our organizations need to reflect the faces, races, gender and ethnicities of the communities we cover, not just in hiring, but in promotions and decision-making. Diversity and inclusion are critical in our business and beyond."
Please take the time to complete the survey. Organizations that don't receive a link to the survey by April 17 should reach out to ASNE at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the American Society of News Editors
The American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism; defends and protects First Amendment rights; and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism work force, opinion journalism, news literacy and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives.
The American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors are joining forces to become NLA, the News Leaders Association. This is an exciting time and our new organization will continue to advocate for strong leadership, a diverse and inclusive workforce and defend against challenges to the First Amendment.