ASNE partners with University of Virginia to invigorate diversity survey

Democracy Fund, Knight Foundation and Google News Lab to provide funding for the survey 

Columbia, Mo. (Feb. 27, 2018) — 
The American Society of News Editors has partnered with the University of Virginia to expand this year's ASNE diversity survey to better understand newsroom diversity efforts and challenges.

This partnership will bring a deeper data-driven focus to measure the status of diversity in staffing in U.S. print and online publications.

A research team at the university's Department of Media Studies, under the direction of Assistant Professor Meredith Clark, will revamp the 2018 survey design and data collection methodologies to establish a quantitative view of the state of diversity in the news media, in addition to drawing perspectives of journalists from newsrooms across the country to tell the stories behind the numbers.
"Dr. Meredith Clark brings tremendous intellect and experience to her award-winning scholarship in the field of media studies," said Paul Waters, senior associate for the Public Square Program at the Democracy Fund. "Dr. Clark's background as a journalist and intersectional approach make her an excellent choice for the rejuvenation of this effort."
"The agreement with researchers from the University of Virginia will provide a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of the diversity in the staffing levels in America's newsrooms, as well as spotlight the chief challenges and obstacles to produce a more inclusive and diverse journalism," said ASNE President Alfredo Carbajal of Al Día at The Dallas Morning News.
"We hope to encourage more newsrooms to demonstrate a commitment to transparency through participating in the diversity survey," Clark said. "We wish to provide context about the experiences of the journalists in the newsrooms and help publications connect this data to their strategies for covering diverse communities."
Since 1978, when ASNE launched the annual Newsroom Employment Diversity Survey (formerly, the Newsroom Employment Census), increasing the percentage of traditionally underrepresented segments, mainly ethnic minorities, in U.S. newsrooms has been a primary mission of the organization. The survey measures the progress 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 2018 survey will be underwritten by a $300,000 grant from the Democracy Fund, as well as contributions from the Google News Lab and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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.
About UVA Department of Media Studies
The Media Studies Department began in Fall 2000 as an interdisciplinary undergraduate major in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia and recently celebrated its 10th anniversary as an independent unit within the College. The department is critically engaged with the creative analysis, production, and research into traditional and emerging forms of media. The department emphasizes digital media through approaches to its history, theory, and technology and their impact upon contemporary life.
About Democracy Fund
Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that our political system can withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Since 2011, Democracy Fund has invested more than $70 million in support of effective governance, modern elections and a vibrant public square. For more, visit