Roadmaps for newsroom diversity
Coverage of the ASNE Leadership in Diversity Sessions, held June14-15, 2011, in Orlando, Fla.
The perfect job candidate isn't going to show up at your doorstep, but is probably only a click away, editors were told during a June 15 panel panel discussion entitled Roadmaps for Newsroom Diversity. And editors have to be diligent if they're going to develop a diverse newsroom.
Middlebrook is assistant managing editor for The Detroit News.
The perfect job candidate isn't going to show up at your doorstep, but is probably only a click away, editors were told during a June 15 panel discussion entitled Roadmaps for Newsroom Diversity. And editors have to be diligent if they're going to develop a diverse newsroom.
“We're teaching students to better use social media,” said Ernest Sotomayor, associate dean, career services, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, noting how corporations should have a presence on the social network sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Students “are using these platforms in big numbers.”
Job banks are a favorite of many job candidates. Eric Wee, founder of JournalismNext.com, said the service has about 3,000 applications on file at any particular time. He said 30 to 40 percent of those applications are new job seekers, and another large group is in the market as a result of job/industry restructuring.
JournalismNext.com has been working with the minority journalism groups as a clearing house for potential job candidates. Companies registered to recruit candidates at journalists' conventions could screen resumes collected by Wee for potential job candidates.
While a valuable service, Kathy Y. Times, National Association of Black Journalists president, said she believes many companies would like to see the job candidates vetted by their respective organization, one of several NABJ goals.
Times said NABJ continues to “reinvent our core programs,” which include a mentor program for young journalists and its twice-a-year boot camps.
NABJ has been focusing its programming on midcareer journalist and is trying to track placement of its members through the companies that are in the job fairs.
Beyond the job fairs, the Asian American Journalists Association urges its members to set up and plan strategies to meet with potential employers off-site from their annual convention sites, said Doris Truong, the association president.
Among its many programs, AAJA maintains its own database of job candidates and also has a small market broadcast group that provides candidates' names to potential small market employers around the world.
Panelists and audience members urged companies to identify and watch candidates over time. Sports and other media camps and initiatives, regional workshops and leadership programs were identified as a source of those candidates.
And editors must be willing to refer candidates to other news organizations when it's clear that the time is not right for their particular company.
Wee said the two-to-three minute video resume is the future in the job search. “In 5 to 10 minutes you'll be able to know what they're talking about and who they're talking to,” Wee said. “That's the power of the Web” in finding job candidates, he added.
Moderator Dana Canedy, senior editor of The New York Times, said the company regularly assesses its diversity numbers and the status of job candidates and newsroom employees, noting whether they are in line for mentoring, hiring or moving to other assignments.
But the best way to diversify a newsroom, said Mark Russell, executive editor of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, requires organizations to make diversity a priority when filling slots. Russell said he tells his managers that “excellence comes with all kinds of stripes” when considering candidates for openings at the newspaper.
Russell said he urges his managers to have a number of flavors in the pool when considering job applicants. “Make me a selection of Baskin Robbins (31 flavors),” he said.