San Diego SPJ Releases Newsroom Diversity Survey Results

How diverse are San Diego newsrooms?

We finally have an answer to that.

The San Diego Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is proud to share the results of our first-ever newsroom diversity survey.

See the results HERE.

Earlier this year – between February and May – we sent surveys to all local newsrooms in San Diego County seeking the breakdown of their newsroom staff members.

Eleven out of the 20 newsrooms responded. The results represent 288 journalists working throughout San Diego County’s media landscape. While all newsrooms were invited to participate, only one television station responded to the survey.

What did the survey show?

San Diego newsrooms are mostly white and male.

There is a large disparity between the number of Latino or Hispanic journalists employed by San Diego newsrooms — 21.9% — compared to 2019 Census estimates showing Latinos and Hispanics represent just over 34% of San Diego’s population.

Less than half of newsroom respondents employ Black journalists and only two San Diego newsrooms employ Native American journalists. Only one newsroom employs a Pacific Islander staff member.

There is much work to be done to ensure San Diego’s newsrooms reflect the diversity of the community.

Many of the newsroom respondents agreed — and shared ways they are actively working to improve the diversity of their companies.

Some have since hired additional staff who reflect their efforts to diversify their newsrooms – we encourage news organizations to share their ongoing diversity and equity efforts with us and participate in future surveys conducted by SD-SPJ.

We hope this survey is a baseline from which leaders in San Diego’s journalism community can work to improve the diversity of their newsrooms to ensure fair and accurate reporting of the communities we cover.

We appreciate the responses we received and hope we are able to get more participation in the future.

Full List of 2021 San Diego SPJ Award Winners

Last night, it was fantastic to celebrate local journalists in person! At our awards reception, held as a casual mixer at Stone Brewing – Liberty Station, attendees had plenty of time to catch up.

If you didn’t make it, here is the final list of who won what. And click here to learn more about Paul Sisson, our 2021 journalist of the year. 

If you were not able to attend and would like to grab your 1st place plaque or 2nd or 3rd place certificates, please email us at spjsandiego@gmail.com. Congratulations to all the winners!

Announcing This Year’s SD-SPJ Award Winners!

Maybe we’re biased, but San Diego has some of the best journalists in the country and we love nothing more than to honor them for their hard work. Click here to view a list of the talented winners of our annual journalism awards — but you’ll have to wait until our awards reception on Sept. 23 to find out who won what!

Please join us at Stone Brewing in Liberty Station for a fun, relaxed gathering. We’ve rented one of Stone’s large outdoor event spaces (Building 12). Tickets are $15 for SPJ members and $20 for nonmembers and include a tasty food spread and dessert. Drink tokens, available on our ticket website, are $5 for craft sodas and $10 for a beer, wine or hard seltzer. 

The evening includes a short program when we’ll announce the winners of our special awards and our Journalist of the Year, Union-Tribune health care reporter Paul Sisson, will give a speech. We’re also putting together a pretty cool silent auction — stay tuned for details.

Congratulations to all our winners! It’s been a difficult year and you deserve to celebrate! 

As in past years, first-place winners will receive a plaque and second and third place winners will receive a certificate. You can pick up your awards at the event.  

When: Thursday, Sept. 23, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Where: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens @ Liberty Station, 2816 Historic Decatur Road, Unit 116, Building 12

Cost: Presale tickets are $15 per person for SPJ members (join or renew your membership), $20 per person for nonmembers. You can also purchase tickets at the event — $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Drink tokens ($5 or $10) are available on the ticket website and at the event. 

IMPORTANT: While this event is outdoors, we ask that anyone who’s been exposed to COVID-19 or thinks they may have been exposed to stay home. This is for the safety of our guests and Stone’s staff. Regarding masks and proof of vaccination, we will follow the county guidelines in place on the day of the event. We certainly encourage anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask to do so.

Email us with any questions and we look forward to seeing you!

Paul Sisson, SPJ San Diego’s 2021 Journalist of the Year

The San Diego Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is proud to announce our 2021 Journalist of the Year, San Diego Union-Tribune health care reporter Paul Sisson. 

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Paul has distinguished himself as the region’s leading COVID-19 reporter, keeping San Diegans informed during an unprecedented, ever-evolving crisis.

Since Jan. 28, when he wrote his first story on the virus, Paul has produced more than 300 articles, from profiles of frontline health care workers to daily case-count and policy updates, sometimes risking his own health to make sure readers had accurate information. He told stories from emergency rooms and ambulances, culled through staggering amounts of data and pressed public officials for critical information.

Paul was often out in front — by months — on many important stories

“He was the first reporter given an intimate look inside a COVID ward,” says his editor, Tarcy Connors, “doing so at great risk to himself, as little was known about the virus in the early months.”

In addition to his own reporting, Paul found time to mentor and assist colleagues. He also continued to cover important stories on his beat, like the Scripps Health data breach.

Our chapter gives this award not for one particular story, but for a body of work that made a difference over the past year. Paul’s reporting on the virus, treatment and vaccines kept San Diegans safe and informed and likely saved lives.

We invite you to celebrate Paul and our other award winners at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Liberty Station on Thursday, Sept. 23, from 6:30 to 9:30. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. (And stay tuned for a full list of winners!)