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New case study: How nonprofit newsrooms track sources to ensure coverage reflects community

April 29, 2021

Today INN published a new case study, How nonprofit newsrooms track sources to ensure coverage reflects community, by Vignesh Ramachandran. 

This case study is the second case as a part of our series on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across the nonprofit news industry. 

The case spotlights how three nonprofit news outlets, WABE News in Atlanta, The Beacon in Kansas City, and WFAE in Charlotte set up systems to track key demographic information about the sources polled and quoted for stories. 

Before you dig into the case, know this: source tracking is by no means a fix-all solution or a fail-proof indicator of a newsroom taking diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) seriously. It’s one process that many news outlets find helpful to create awareness and mechanisms of accountability. The news outlets we spotlight here know this, and use source tracking as one of many ways to engage with their audiences and center people of color in their stories. 

In this case study, you will find: 

Why these news outlets, and why these stories? The organizations spotlighted here represent some of the groups who sat down with our team and opened up — telling us their challenges, what they’re doing now, and where they get stuck. In conversations with our case subjects, we kept hearing this disclaimer: I know we’re not doing enough. We want to acknowledge that the news outlets highlighted in these case studies don’t claim to have it all figured out (in fact, they are quick to say they do not). Instead, they are willing to show us what it looks like to be in the middle of important, continuous DEI work.

INN’s other DEI work and resources 

In tandem with our DEI case study series, INN recently launched the Racial Equity and Inclusion in Nonprofit News Program (REINN) for its members. Supported by the Knight Foundation and led by INN’s Sara Shahriari and several expert partners (including Inspiring Change), REINN offers frameworks, tools and implementation support for members seeking to advance racial diversity, equity and inclusion in their organizations and their journalism.

Read the case study.

If you have any questions about INN’s case studies, please reach out to INN’s research director, Emily Roseman at

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