ASNE to overhaul annual diversity survey with $300,000 Democracy Fund grant

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 10, 2017) - The Democracy Fund has awarded the American Society of News Editors Foundation a $300,000 grant to create a more comprehensive and data-driven survey that catalogues newsroom diversity numbers for U.S. print and online publications.

Increasing diversity in U.S. newsrooms has been a primary mission of the American Society of News Editors since 1978, when ASNE launched the annual Newsroom Employment Diversity Survey, which measures the success of ASNE's goal of having the percentage of minorities working in newsrooms nationwide equal to the percentage of minorities in the nation's population by 2025. The Democracy Fund's generous grant will allow ASNE, in collaboration with Google, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and a university research team, to develop the survey into a world-class resource to support newsroom diversity efforts.

"The Democracy Fund issued a challenge: Make the Diversity Survey more relevant, more useful and more of a tool to drive the kind of change that will truly diversify the nation's newsrooms," said ASNE President Mizell Stewart III, vice president of news operations at Gannett and the USA TODAY Network. "Through the fund's partnership and the commitment of newsroom leaders, ASNE is well-positioned to make this happen."

Grant funds will help invigorate the survey's design and data collection methodologies, establish a comprehensive view of the state of diversity in media and raise awareness through the dissemination of data collected.

"Democracy Fund is excited to partner with Google and Knight Foundation in funding the ASNE diversity survey," said Paul Waters, senior associate for the Public Square Program at Democracy Fund. "This survey is an important tool in providing information and accountability of the efforts news outlets are taking to better represent their communities. Funding for greater research support will infuse the tool with new energy and create new opportunities to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in journalism."


American Society of News Editors Foundation
The ASNE Foundation, established in 1979, solicits contributions in support of ASNE and its commitment to professional journalism, newsroom leadership and diversity, and open government and a free press. Generous gifts from foundations, news organizations and individual ASNE members support ASNE Foundation projects and initiatives that stimulate new thinking in areas critically important to editors and the news industry.

American Society of News Editors
The American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism; defends and protects First Amendment rights; and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism work force, opinion journalism, news literacy and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives.

Democracy Fund
The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that the American people come first in our democracy.