Participate in 2019 ASNE diversity survey

Columbia, Mo. (April 9, 2019) - The American Society of News Editors calls on news organizations across the media spectrum to participate in this year's diversity survey, which incorporates revised design and data collection methodologies to better establish a quantitative view of the diversity status in America's newsrooms. The survey will go into the field by Thursday, April 11.
The purpose of the Newsroom Employment Diversity Survey, launched in 1978, is to document employment trends in U.S. print and online publications and help newsrooms reflect the growing diversity of their audiences. The survey measures progress toward ASNE's goal of having the percentage of minorities working in newsrooms nationwide equal to that of minorities in the nation's population by 2025.
To make sufficient progress to attain the goal of parity, ASNE, along with our many partners, has undertaken a number of changes to our diversity survey over the last year. Those changes are listed below. We believe a year-round effort focused on diversity and inclusion is the first step to help our members and industry achieve a diverse workforce that reflects their communities.

This year's survey adds new layers of data collection measuring the state of diversity in U.S. media and precedes focus groups and interviews that will add contextual information beyond the numbers to provide context about newsroom hiring practices and recommendations in relation to diversity. This new qualitative approach will draw perspectives from news leaders across all platforms to discuss the efforts and challenges in diversifying their staffs.
The 2019 survey results, along with visual presentations by the Google News Lab, will be announced at the News Leaders Association Conference Sept. 9-10 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The results of our focus groups and interviews will be announced over the course of the fall and winter of 2019.
Some of the notable changes to this year's survey include:
  • The inclusion of LGBTQ journalists through self-reported survey data. Developed in conjunction with the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, this survey tool will empower individual LGBTQ-identifying journalists to be counted as part of the diverse populations in U.S. newsrooms.
  • A series of case studies from the survey data designed to highlight challenges and triumphs in recruiting and retaining staff from diverse backgrounds.
  • Data visualizations powered by the Google News Lab to measure newsroom parity with shifting demographics in geographically defined communities.

"We all know that our communities are changing faster than our newsrooms, said ASNE President Nancy Barnes, SVP/News for NPR. "We also know that to affect change, we need to measure and track our progress. A small investment in time will yield important data and perspective for us all. I want to thank news organizations in advance for your support and participation."

Supported by the Democracy Fund, the Google News Lab, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the 2019 diversity survey, as well as the follow-up project, will be led by Meredith Clark, assistant professor of the University of Virginia's Department of Media Studies, and her research team.
"Changes to this year's survey reflect the challenges that contemporary news outlets are grappling with today. The questions are an extension of ASNE's commitment to drive the quest for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in news content across all platforms," Clark said. "Today's 'newsrooms' exist in multiple forms, from a brick-and-mortar shop powered by a handful of salaried staff and a host of contract laborers, to a networked group of journalism expats creating the digital startups that underserved communities rely on for news and information.
"We have also given careful consideration to meaningful inclusion of queer-identifying journalists. We've added non-binary options for tracking demographic shifts along the line of gender in the core survey, and have developed a self-administered survey to reflect the representation of LGBTQIA+ journalists across the country, recognizing that workplace anti-discrimination policies have yet to be enacted at the federal level,"
Clark said.
The self-administered survey for queer-identifying journalists will go into the field on Monday, April 15.
Participation in the survey is crucial to build more diverse and inclusive journalism communities. ASNE asks all newsrooms in the nation to be transparent like The New York TimesProPublica and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle in releasing their diversity numbers this year and demonstrating their commitment to equality and representation in journalism.
"America is changing rapidly, and more than ever, the importance of diversity and inclusion are pivotal to our news gathering and news gatherers. We must better reflect  the changing dynamics in the country. This is non-negotiable, especially as we work diligently to reach new audiences in ways that resonate as authentic and trustworthy sources of information that matter to them," said ASNE Diversity Committee Co-Chair Hollis Towns, Northeast Region Group Editor of USA Today Network. "Unfortunately, we have lost ground in our goal to drive more diversity in our newsrooms, which also affects how and why we do what do. That's why this survey is so critical. Our organizations need to reflect the faces, races, gender and ethnicities of the communities we cover, not just in hiring, but in promotions and decision-making. Diversity and inclusion are critical in our business and beyond."
Please take the time to complete the survey. Organizations that don't receive a link to the survey by April 17 should reach out to ASNE at
About the 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.

The American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors are joining forces to become NLA, the News Leaders Association. This is an exciting time and our new organization will continue to advocate for strong leadership, a diverse and inclusive workforce and defend against challenges to the First Amendment.