Newsrooms across the country are seeking better ways to cover and report on race relations, immigration and national security issues to larger and more diverse audiences.
Vox, which has been around since 2011, has been competitive in pushing the conversation on coverage of racial issues. Product Manager for Partner Platforms Elite Truong has observed internal gut-checking when handling stories on race relations and international affairs.
“Something we not only as editorial staff, but in our newsroom in general, always promote and engage with is bringing in diverse voices and trying harder to find more than just your average reporter because we know there are so many voices that need to be heard.”
Vox looks to involve diverse freelance voices as well. One example is an intriguing pieces about social injustices by Reddit Hudson, an ex black cop speaking on race issues.
Another upstart media company, NowThis, has a very interesting approach to journalism as they solely produce video content on their Facebook page. Since the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement, NowThis has been aggressive about creating informational video content.
According to Versha Sharma, managing editor at NowThis News, her newsroom diversifies staff from the interns to editorial, to ensure quality content. “What we really focus on is making sure our newsrooms look as diverse and as well-rounded as possible,” said Sharma.
But there’s an important ingredient behind their storytelling. “Something special about our newsroom is that we create stories for our peers, and looking at our peer research we see that millennials care about racial inequalities. Because we know our audience is focused on those issues we are seeing our metrics around those sky rocket and we’ve now been featuring those posts on our main page.”
Essence Magazine’s Editor In Chief Vanessa K. Deluca believes her publication has a responsibility not only the black community, but to enhance their coverage of the Black Lives Matter Movement and create content that is as interesting and varied as black folks are.
“It’s always been a part of our DNA to talk about and create content about our community, I think we would be remiss if we did not. We also wanted to make sure we were bringing in as many voices as possible to the conversation because we know that’s the best way to move forward,” said Deluca.
A suite of sessions on diversity at this year’s ONA include NBC News/MSNBC: Avoiding Stereotypes in Reporting and How Transparency is Your Ally When it Happens and KEYNOTE: Do We Need a Bechdel Test for News? How Inclusiveness and Credibility Can Expand Coverage.