The nonprofit news movement was launched with the idea that not only the powerful should get to speak through the megaphone of the news media. Yet the reality of nonprofit news organizations lags this ideal. We talk about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as essential to our mission, but how do we measure up?
This study is a reality check, and we hope an inspiration for nonprofit news organizations to do more to reflect the diversity of their communities, fight racism and build inclusive audiences.
When INN began looking into how many members were led by people of color and serving communities of color, we counted eight out of about a hundred members fitting either description, in 2016. As the field grew, so did diversity. But ad hoc counts and studies sponsored by traditional media groups didn’t provide a full picture.
To address that, we added deeper DEI data to the 2020 INN Index, a periodic snapshot of news nonprofits’ staffing, revenue and editorial focus. The current survey launched in February, shortly before nationwide protests about police violence against Black Americans brought new urgency to questions of racial justice and equity in the United States. We are grateful for the 117 nonprofit news outlets that provided what we believe is the broadest sampling of DEI so far in this growing field.
Our topline finding: nonprofit newsrooms are more diverse than traditional newsrooms – but there is room for improvement.
We invite you to learn more about how the Institute for Nonprofit News is working to improve DEI within our organization and across the network in INN’s Diversity Report.
If you have questions about the INN Index, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.