Participate in 2018 ASNE diversity survey

This year's survey adds new layers of data collection measuring the state of diversity in U.S. media and precedes focus groups and interviews that will add contextual information beyond the numbers

Columbia, Mo. (May 3, 2018) - The American Society of News Editors calls on news organizations to participate in this year's diversity survey, which incorporates revised design and data collection methodologies to better establish a quantitative view of the diversity status in America's newsrooms. The survey will go into the field by Friday, May 4.

The purpose of the Newsroom Employment Diversity Survey, launched in 1978, is to document employment trends in U.S. print and online publications and help newsrooms reflect the growing diversity of their audiences. The survey measures progress toward ASNE's goal of having the percentage of minorities working in newsrooms nationwide equal to that of minorities in the nation's population by 2025.

To make sufficient progress to attain the goal of parity, ASNE, along with our many partners, has undertaken a number of changes to our diversity survey this year. Those changes are listed below. We believe a year-round effort focused on diversity and inclusion is the first step to help our members and industry achieve a diverse workforce that reflects their communities.

For the first time, the survey will be followed by focus groups and one-on-one interviews to provide context about newsroom hiring practices and recommendations in relation to diversity. This new qualitative approach will draw perspectives from news leaders across all platforms to discuss the efforts and challenges in diversifying their staffs.

The 2018 survey results, along with visual presentations by the Google News Lab, will be announced at the ASNE-APME News Leadership Conference Sept. 11-12 in Austin, Texas. The results of our focus groups and interviews will be announced over the course of the fall and winter of 2018.

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.
"This year's survey will help to identify issues and information that can push for deeper inclusiveness in our newsrooms and journalism in general," said ASNE President Alfredo Carbajal, managing editor of Al Día at The Dallas Morning News. "We hope that the results of this exercise will make parity and diversity an attainable goal sooner."

Supported by the Democracy Fund, the Google News Lab, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the 2018 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.

"As a former journalist, I am always interested in the story behind the numbers," Clark said. "Through a series of focus groups conducted online and in-depth interviews conducted by phone and in-person, we look forward to providing greater context about who is represented in the newsroom. These approaches are open not only to news executives, but also freelancers, interns, and part-time and full-time employees. Our goal is to develop a more robust picture of contemporary challenges in recruiting and retaining staff from diverse backgrounds."

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.

As ASNE Diversity Committee Co-Chair Karen Magnuson, editor and vice president/news of the Democrat & Chronicle, wrote in her recent column pushing for transparency, "Without question, embracing diversity is the right thing to do, but it's also a business imperative in a multicultural society. Diversity of thought is part of the solution. It inspires more creativity that drives innovation. It leads to more robust community conversations that may lead to positive change."

Please take the time to complete the survey. Organizations that don't receive a link to the survey by May 11 should reach out to ASNE at diversityresearch@asne.org.


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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.
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