The Diversity Pledge Institute Launches Newsroom Diversity Survey Pilot

TOLEDO, Ohio — September 20, 2022 — The Diversity Pledge Institute at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication (DPI) has launched its Newsroom Diversity Survey pilot, the organization’s latest effort aimed at solving the diversity pipeline problem by improving retention rates associated with diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA); and supporting journalists’ career growth.

“The lack of diversity in the news industry is apparent to anyone who has spent any amount of time in newsrooms,” Larry Graham, DPI founder and executive director, said. “But without data to quantify the problem, it’s hard to measure the impact of DEIA initiatives, which is why it’s so important that DPI undertake this effort.”

The pilot — which will take place from Sept. 1 through Oct. 7 — will test and modify the Newsroom Diversity Survey through a collaborative process with representatives from legacy, digital, nonprofit, broadcast and other news media companies. The study will explore how DEIA is understood, practiced, and prioritized in newsrooms by both leaders and journalists.

“We know checkbox diversity initiatives don’t work in helping change internal structures,” Gaby Martinez-Stevenson, director of institutional research at DPI, said. “This is why our newsroom diversity survey doesn’t just focus on demographics but rather works to understand how newsrooms approach and understand diversity. Our goal at DPI is to fundamentally change how journalism conceptualizes and applies DEIA work in newsrooms.”

The results of the survey will benefit the journalism industry by establishing a common language and understanding of DEIA. It will also allow DPI to develop the necessary tools and strategies needed to eliminate the barriers to diversifying newsrooms and move beyond good intentions and toward meaningful, positive change.

Pilot newsrooms will also receive an anonymized copy of their newsroom data as well as a copy of the pilot evaluation report that can be used to guide subsequent internal discussions.

For more information about this pilot and how it can benefit your newsroom, please contact: [email protected].

About The Diversity Pledge Institute — The Diversity Pledge Institute at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) dedicated to research, analysis and education related to diversity in journalism. Our goal is to solve the diversity pipeline problem; improve retention rates associated with diversity, equity and inclusion; and support journalists’ career growth. We prioritize peer-to-peer training and career learning for journalists while offering ongoing organizational support for diversity and inclusion efforts in media. You can support that work by making a tax deductible donation here.