More than three decades of commitment to diversity

The American Society of News Editors believes that diverse newsrooms better cover America’s communities. In 1978, the association challenged the news industry to achieve racial parity by 2000 or sooner and released the results of its first annual newsroom employment census. Over three decades, the annual survey has shown that while there has been progress, the racial diversity of newsrooms does not come close to the fast-growing diversity in the U.S. population as a whole.

While ASNE is a voluntary, nonprofit organization with no hiring authority in individual newsrooms, the group is a steadfast leader in calling for newsroom diversity.

In recent years, ASNE has focused its efforts on strengthening the pipeline of diverse leadership talent in the nation's newsrooms. The effort began with the Minority Leadership Institute, now known as the ASNE Emerging Leaders Institute. Since its inception, ASNE institutes have provided free or low-cost leadership training to more than 200 mid-level and senior leaders from news organizations of all kinds, including The Associated Press, CNN, NPR and scores of local digital and legacy news organizations. 

ASNE, long known for its efforts to chronicle diversity and employment in U.S. newsrooms, has retooled what was once known as the Newsroom Census as an annual survey, intended to document newsroom employment trends and better reflect the growing diversity of news organizations and the jobs journalists perform in the modern multiplatform newsroom.

Almost 50 years ago, the news industry was called out on race. How should that be commemorated?