Many newsrooms have historically focused on white, Christian, cisgender, heterosexual men when selecting story angles and choosing who to interview for stories on sports, politics, education, culture, courts and law enforcement and many other beats. But when reporters overlook women, LGBTQ people, Asian Americans, Black people, Latinos, disabled people, immigrants, Muslims, atheists and other often overlooked communities, they are missing the stories of this increasingly diverse nation and missing out on the chance to win over readers from those communities. At the same time, surface-level outreach to these communities is not appropriate. Reporters must build trust with sources in diverse communities, especially those outside their own, by staying educated on issues important to these communities and talking to well-known and everyday people in these communities. Every story must have diversity of sources. It is not acceptable to publish a story that does not include people from underserved communities. Writing a story about how billionaires are getting rich from the COVID pandemic? Talk to a Latino economist and/or a Black billionaire. Writing about how parents are tired of hanging out with their kids after quarantine? Talk to an Asian mom, a parent who is non-binary and a Jewish family therapist. Doing a story on the best TV shows to binge watch this August? If all the TV shows only feature white, cisgender people, then that story is not ready for publication.
During this session, enterprise reporters Romi Ruiz, Marc Ramirez and Jessica Guynn will talk about how they work to build trust with diverse audiences and find story ideas about communities that represent different experiences in the United States.
More training on Reporting & Writing:
Protected: Master classes for business reporters and editors, Part II
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Diversity and the newsroom: Tips for expanding coverage and supporting reporters of color
The Columbus Dispatch’s Erica Thompson explores a few big stories and offers tips on advocating for diverse coverage and better support of reporters of color.
Engage diverse communities by hosting sessions.