Skip to Content

How three nonprofit news outlets put DEI into practice

In conjunction with the Institute for Nonprofit News’s (INN) 2023 Index Report, this research* explores how nonprofit news outlets are building more diverse, equitable and inclusive places to work. This research is a part of INN’s recently released 2023 Index Report, which includes data from an annual survey of independent news organizations that are members of INN, with a deep dive into diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the nonprofit news sector. 

About the case studies

These case studies were developed using the following data: (1) information from INN’s 2023 Index data, (2) a DEI organizational assessment survey — given to the organization after it was selected as a case study — that used theory and scales from Washington Race Equity & Justice Initiative’s (REJI) Organizational Assessment as well as resources from Race Forward and (3) focus groups with leadership and staff.  

The INN 2023 Index data was used to select the news outlets for these case studies as well as to generate the focus group questions. INN reached out to three nonprofit news outlets that illustrate the sector’s major challenges and opportunities related to DEI.    

The DEI organizational assessment was sent to all staff and leadership at the news outlet. This survey was completed after the focus group. The survey focused on the different ways DEI values shape the day-to-day operations and assessed the impact of those policies. 

We paid more attention to efforts focused on equity and inclusion by moving away from checkbox diversity and toward understanding and implementing DEI as a value system. A few of our questions included:

Key Findings

Through our conversations and surveys we were able to identify several strategic considerations that other news outlets could explore within their own organizations. These include: 

These findings help provide an important first step in understanding how news outlets currently understand and practice DEI while also providing context on the challenges that news outlets face in engaging with this work.

* These case studies were produced as part of a partnership with the Diversity Pledge Institute (DPI) — a nonprofit dedicated to research, analysis and education related to inclusivity and belonging in journalism.

Back to top