Skip to Content

Do Your Homework: Resources for Furthering DEI Conversations in Newsrooms

September 8, 2020

As we approach the September 22 start of the INN at Home: Racial Equity in Journalism conference, we’d like to share some resources on racial equity for those who can engage in pre-reading. Many of our conference speakers have spoken or written about equity in journalism — we asked our speakers to submit resources that spoke to them. For those who are unable to attend INN at Home, we hope this can be a resource for getting started or furthering your DEI conversations.

If you’re interested in attending INN at Home, register by Sept. 18.

* Denotes an INN at Home: Racial Equity in Journalism conference speaker

Photo Bill of Rights | Trans Journalist Association | Diversity Style Guide | NAJA Reporting and Indigenous Terminology Guide | NABJ Style Guide | Disability Language Style Guide
(h/t to The Objective newsletter for a roundup of style guides)


Now is the moment to fund innovation for news equity
Farai Chideya, Ford Foundation*
“We’d like to issue a challenge to other funders — not just to fund equity in news, but specifically to fund innovation to achieve these ends.”

Ethics & Standards

Journalists can help people tell their own stories by talking less, listening more
Erika Dilday, for Nieman Reports
“Our role is facilitator instead of interpreter, catalyst instead of judge.”

A reckoning over objectivity, led by Black journalists
Wesley Lowery, for The New York Times
“It’s possible to build journalism self-aware enough to bridge that gap. But it will take moral clarity, which will require both editors and reporters to stop doing things like reflexively hiding behind euphemisms that obfuscate the truth, simply because we’ve always done it that way.”

Maynard Institute’s Martin G. Reynolds on challenges facing Black journalists and how US media needs to change
Katherine Jacobsen, Committee to Protect Journalists
“There’s this notion that who someone is and what they bring to their work is bias when in fact, it’s what makes them important.” Reynolds spoke with CPJ in mid-June about the unique set of challenges Black journalists face and ways that the media can encourage diversity.

Examples of journalism

Young, Black journalists envision a media revolution
Sabby Robinson, YR Media*
“Young Black journalists — the inheritors of this crazy media landscape — are just starting out our careers. With this push to make journalism more inclusive of diverse voices, what changes do we want to see? Here’s how four Black journalists from around the country answered that question.”

Determined: Stories of resilience in a broken ecosystem
Jordy Yager and Sarad Davenport, Charlottesville Tomorrow
“Over the next five weeks, we’ll use these Social Determinants of Health as our foundational framework and guideposts to bring you stories of how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted some of our African American communities.”

How giving parents cameras helped KPCC/LAist tell a different kind of pandemic story
Stefanie Ritoper, for Poynter
“A conversation with Romondo Locke, who works with the Los Angeles Public Library, sparked the idea to tell early childhood stories through photos. We decided to invite parents to join an open-ended creative project, and by doing so, we hoped to tackle several overlapping goals:


Transformational capacity building
April Nishimura, Roshni Sampath, Vu Le, Anbar Mahar Sheikh & Ananda Valenzuela, for Stanford Social Innovation Review
“Nonprofits that serve communities of color struggle to survive because of systemic racial disparities and biases. To surmount these challenges, we recommend seven approaches that have emerged from our work with these communities.”

Leadership for the Now Generation
Andrew Ramsammy, for Greater Public
“What other generations must understand about the Now Generation is that their response to injustice will come with the immense scale and reach of social media. They bring a network of action. The Now Generation has brought their grievances to HR departments and leadership systems that are relics of the past. These systems silence complaints with threats of hierarchy, dangling carrots, NDAs, or, even worse, job loss.”

SRCCON:LEAD Talks: Stacy-Marie Ishmael
Stacy-Marie Ishmael, for the SRCCON:LEAD conference
Leadership In A Time of Turmoil: Asking questions — the right ones, at the right time, to the right people — is at the very heart of journalism. In this talk, Stacy-Marie Ishmael poses two questions for our industry and for each other: What does it mean to be a leader in journalism, and what does it mean to lead in a time of upheaval and unease?


Allyship And #BlackLivesMatter: A conversation across cultures
Denise Tejada, LatinoUSA
“YR Media and Latino USA bring you a discussion with four young adults from all racial backgrounds to discuss what it means to be an effective ally in the fight to end anti-Blackness, the role young people are playing in this new wave of activism, and the importance of “unlearning” long-held perspectives rooted in our communities.”

All in this together: A conversation on race and allyship in America
Robin DiAngelo, author, “White Fragility;” Brittney Cooper, author, “Eloquent Rage;” moderated by Sunny Hostin, co-host of The View, for The 19th* Summit
This conversation examines the question: How can white people, specifically white women, act as better allies?


Building equity in journalism collaborations
Angilee Shah, for the Center for Cooperative Media
“As it becomes more common for news organizations to collaborate — and for foundations and donors to support this kind of work — we need to be especially careful that our collaborations do not simply replicate the inequities of our industry.”


‘I Just Don’t Hear It:’ How whiteness dilutes voices of color at public radio stations
Laura Garbes, The American Prospect
“How does framing stories for this audience shape how public radio stations tell stories? At every stage of story production — from the reporter’s “pitch” to their editor, through the process of reporting, editing, and airing — powerful figures within the newsroom invoke “the audience” and effectively restrict stories that challenge prevailing notions of racial progress.”

The characteristics of white supremacy culture
From “Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups,” by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, republished on Showing Up For Racial Justice
“Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify. The characteristics listed below are damaging because they are used as norms and standards without being pro-actively named or chosen by the group. They are damaging because they promote white supremacy thinking. They are damaging to both people of color and to white people. Organizations that are people of color-led or a majority people of color can also demonstrate many damaging characteristics of white supremacy culture.”

How we save our body politic
Farai Chideya, for Digital Democracy*
“Being denied the chance to tell the truth and help the world by doing so is a betrayal of the very premise of our profession, one I have felt acutely. At times, I have questioned whether my years as a journalist were wasted, since the act of telling the truth did not prevent this painful moment in history or measurably change the newsrooms I tried to de-bias. But I am just one runner in a long relay race towards justice, and I have to accept with humility that I cannot determine the outcomes, only my own actions.”

‘Are you calling me a racist?’ Umm, no, it’s not about you
Susan Smith Richardson, for Poynter*
“In hindsight, the facilitator taught me the most valuable lesson: If you want an inclusive newsroom, you must acknowledge how policies and practices construct roadblocks to diversity and equity.”

Back to top