Journalists of color do a lot of invisible labor.
We encourage our friends to ask for a higher salary. We meet our colleagues for lunch to find a way to make our managers care about having a diverse staff. We check each other’s data work, refine each other’s pitches, and trade sources so that we may have a chance to get a story about minority populations approved in our newsrooms.
This is the kind of work that informal networks of journalists of color do to improve both their newsrooms and the careers of their peers.
But this kind of labor can take a lot out of us. We pass on information person-to-person in a way that sometimes feels like an elaborate game of telephone. This resource is meant to make things a little easier for journalists of color.
The reason why we made this resource is because we repeatedly observed the same needs in our various circles of journalists of color. Every few weeks or every couple of months, people posed the same questions in slack rooms, in classrooms, in closed meetings, or on social media. Each time, we would cobble together these resources based on these requests. This resource is a way for us to address these needs in a more efficient way beyond our personal pipelines.
To get a more holistic grasp of the needs of journalists of color we constructed a simple survey. More than 260 people participated. The majority of respondents identified as Asian (44.1%), followed by Black or African American (22.3%), two races or more (14.6%), White (8.5%), Arab or Middle Eastern (2.83%), Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders (2.4%) and Other (5.26%). Close to a quarter of our respondents (23.7%) identified as Hispanic or Latinx and respondents skewed younger, with more than three quarters (75.3%) being 34 years of age or younger.
Participants were able to evaluate four main topics (salary data, demographics data, career growth and structural work) and also write up comments about their biggest concerns. Based on both the evaluations and the comments, we found that journalists of color needed resources related to these four topics (in order of importance):
These resources exist because institutions across the country are failing to address systemic issues. We hope that this is only one of many solutions to building more diverse newsrooms and we encourage institutions across the country to find other ways to empower journalists of color.
If you want to suggest any other resources please fill out this form:
Resources Suggestion Form