CAMP 2018: Building Diversity into your News Team and Content Tip Sheet

JAWS CAMP 2018 l

By Marina Fang

Presenters/Panelists

Sheila Solomon, Senior Consultant at Democracy Fund; Manager of Recruiting & Interns at Rivet (@solshe)

Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz,  Editorial and Creative Director at YES! Magazine

Summer Fields, Engagement Consultant at Hearken (@sumjazfi)

The lead

In order to actually walk the walk on creating diversity and inclusion in your newsroom, you need to focus on retention, holding yourself to specific goals and broaden your ideas about and practices of hiring.

The Top Five

        • Be intentional and specific about your diversity and inclusion goals. These can often depend on your audience and readership.
          • “How do they show up as their full selves?” People of color need to be able to tell diverse stories without it being seen as bias or opinion and given a place where they can be themselves.
          • Be “fair and even” about advancement and promotions.
        • “There is no way to be accountable” unless you actually count and detail your diversity (or lack thereof). “First you need to get your metrics and see where you are.” Then you can work from there.
          • Don’t just make broad statements like: “Hire and retain more women of color.”
        • “Get as many folks as possible participating” in the conversation about diversity and inclusion in your newsroom, not just managers or anyone else in a hiring role.
          • Form committees with a wide range of staff, find community members “who can be connectors for you.” A wider network can help you reach a wider range of candidates the next time you have a job opening.
        • Build a broad pipeline. Remember that people come to journalism in all sorts of ways. For example, a lot of people interested in journalism don’t have journalism degrees — and they don’t have to. “There are other ways to get into journalism.” Sheila Solomon encourages students to pursue other majors “that they’re passionate about.”

The Surprise

Think more broadly and outside of the box when hiring. Summer Fields says that at Hearken, they don’t start with resumes right away. They think about candidates’ varied experiences and what they would add to the skillset of the team, and come up with targeted questions. Then, they go back to the resumes.

The Resources

Twitter moment of session highlights
Crowd-sourced tips