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More than three decades of commitment to diversity

ASNE 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 2000, the ASNE board reaffirmed its diversity goals. The board also approved adding women to its annual census on newsroom employment. Diversity initiatives remain focused on the hiring, promotion and retention of people of color in the newsroom.

The mission statement says:

To cover communities fully, to carry out their role in a democracy, and to succeed in the marketplace, the nation’s newsrooms must reflect the racial diversity of American society by 2025 or sooner. At a minimum, all newspapers should employ journalists of color and every newspaper should reflect the diversity of its community.

The newsroom must be a place in which all employees contribute their full potential, regardless of race, ethnicity, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability or other defining characteristic.

The ASNE board in 2000 reaffirmed strategies, “which may be expanded or amended periodically”:

  • Conduct an annual census of employment of Asian Americans, blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics, and women in the newsroom.
  • Encourage and assist editors in recruiting, hiring and managing diverse newsrooms.
  • Expand ASNE efforts to foster newsroom diversity.
  • Establish three-year benchmarks for measuring progress.