In the new Nieman Reports cover package, reporters and editors discuss strategies for creating more inclusive newsrooms and how and why racially diverse staffs can improve coverage.
The news industry has been discussing diversity for decades, but many believe too little has been done: “The needles never really seem to move,” says Nikole Hannah-Jones, a reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine.
Included in the Race and Reporting issue:
- Myrtle Beach Sun News columnist Issac Bailey writes an impassioned personal essay on facing a barrage of insults and racist comments following the election of President Obama in 2008. “I’m tired of having to explain again and again—and again—that I’m capable of complex, rational thought concerning policy and politics in the age of Obama,” he writes.
- Susan Smith Richardson, editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter, argues for establishing a black beat: “Changing the portrayal of African-Americans in the media can’t be accomplished through occasional big projects about race; it requires a sophisticated and sustained effort over time.”
- Eric Deggans, NPR’s television critic, makes the case for covering race, culture, and poverty the same way as weather, sports and the stock market.
- Adriana Gallardo and Betsy O’Donovan of the Association of Independents in Radio look at how broadcasters are bringing more variety to the airwaves.
- In “Why Newsroom Diversity Works,” Alicia W. Stewart explores The Washington Post, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Asbury Park Press, and other news organizations are working to get diversity right.
- Nieman curator Ann Marie Lipinski comments on Risky, Important Conversations About Diversity in Our Newsrooms in her quarterly column and notes that when it comes to issues of race and reporting, “soul-searching by journalists is imperative.”
- Eight journalists across a range of media, including Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Sandra Clark of The Philadelphia Inquirer, discuss how newsroom diversity contributes to better coverage.