Gannet claims it has made great strides in diversifying its newsrooms. But the Record Guild, a New Jersey-based union, says this isn’t true, according to The Jersey Globe.
The union, which represents employees of Gannett’s Bergen Record, claims Gannett rejected its proposal to “require recruitment of diverse candidates and interviews with at least two members of underrepresented groups for each open job.”
And, it alleges a Gannett lawyer said: “I don’t think it makes sense to discuss (diversity) at this moment in time,”
However, Gannett has made “solid progress toward our goal, with increased representation of journalists who are female, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), writes Maribel Perez Wadsworth, Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president of the USA Today Network and publisher of USA Today
Wadsworth adds Gannett “hired or promoted more than a dozen journalists of color to senior leadership roles and top newsroom positions” since a survey was conducted in 2020.”
“Similar gains among BIPOC journalists were recorded in local newsrooms, including Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Rochester and West Palm Beach.
A breakdown shows that White journalists make up 65.7% of the USA Today staff, down from 69.3% in 2020, according to figures shown by Gannett. Black journalists comprise 13.6%, versus 13.3% last year.
Hispanic/Latino reporters are now at 10.1%, up from 8% and Asian journalists 7%, compared with 5.7% in 2020.
These numbers roughly correspond to the makeup of the community served. However, the proportion of White newsroom managers — 68.8% — does not reflect the 60.1% White population.
At The Oklahoman, Whites make up 73.6% of the newsroom staff and 69.2% of the management, but are only 64.2% of the community population.
Blacks hold 5.7% of the newsroom positions and 7.7% of management jobs, versus a 9.6% share of the general population. Hispanic/Latino reporters also unrepresented, making up 7.5% of the newsroom staff and 7.7% of the managers, versus a 13.1% of the community population.