Commitment to Diversity

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Why diversity matters

In 1979, the American Society of News Editors had pledged that the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities in newsrooms would match that of the population at large by the year 2000, according to the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR).

Forty years later, journalism remains unchanged. CJR went on to find that in 2018 some of our nation’s leading newsrooms, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal remain 81 percent white while the Washington Post was 70 percent white. Even in cities like Los Angeles, where people of color comprise 72 percent of the population, CJR found people of color represented just 33 percent of newsroom staff at the Los Angeles Times. The same exclusion can be seen in broadcast and radio newsrooms. That same year, the Radio Television Digital News Association found 25 percent of TV newsroom staff were people of color, according to CJR. In radio, that percentage plummeted to 11.7 percent.

The San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists aspires to become a truly inclusive organization. To that end, our board is committed to ensuring that the demographics of our organizational leadership, as well as our membership, parallel the demographics of the communities we cover in San Diego County. We are committed to encouraging San Diego news outlets to facilitate the creation of newsrooms that are as diverse as the San Diegans we serve.

The San Diego Society of Professional Journalists board has created a diversity committee to encourage local media outlets to adequately and accurately represent the true ethnic, cultural, linguistic and historical diversity of this region. Our goal is to take a leadership role on the issue of diversity in newsrooms by sharing notable stories and issues around inclusivity and to provide resources for journalists to accurately cover diverse communities in a fair, ethical and representative manner.