The nation’s two top newspapers on Thursday evening separately reached the same decision: They have to address diversity and equity in their newsrooms.
In separate memos to staff, both outlined initiatives to address an issue that has roiled their newsrooms, just like many others in the rest of the country.
The Washington Post announced more than 12 new jobs as part of a plan to “leading a national conversation on issues of race and diversity while shining light on the inequities that exist today.”
The newly created jobs include: Managing editor for diversity and inclusion, a writer to cover Race in America and another to cover America and multiculturalism and a new director of diversity & inclusion in Human Resources, among others.
The New York Times‘ announcement was less concrete, but still expansive, saying it aims to rewrite how it operates and makes decisions to yield a newsroom that is transformed by racial awareness.
“In conversations and on Slack over the past few weeks, we have heard from many black colleagues, and other people of color around the company, that they do not feel sufficiently part of decision making, feel fully valued in our culture, or see a clear path for advancement. This is something we must change,” the paper acknowledged in its memo.
The memo, signed by four top leaders including Publisher A.G. Sulzberger and Executive Editor Dean Baquet, announced several initiatives to develop a strategy to “hiring, developing, supporting and promoting our people — and particularly people of color.” The aim is to have a strategy by the end of the year, the memo said.