Media union backs call for newsroom diversity

2020.03.02 | NEWS RELEASE

Press release graphic

OTTAWA — CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, is endorsing a call to action on newsroom diversity by the Canadian Association of Black Journalists and Canadian Journalists of Colour.

CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said it’s vital for journalism and democracy that newsrooms reflect diversity.

“We believe that, in order to properly identify and tell the stories important to Canadians, our newsrooms must reflect the diversity of Canadians, both racial and socioeconomic.”

The call to action notes that, despite efforts by some companies, newsrooms and media coverage are not truly representative of the country’s racial diversity and “we need to rethink our approach to this problem by addressing it in a meaningful and systemic way.”

It offers seven steps companies can take:

  1. Begin self-reporting of newsroom demographcis on a regular basis.
  2. Increase representation and coverage of racialized communities by hiring more editors and reporters of colour.
  3. Retain and promote journalists of colour to management positions in the newsroom.
  4. Formally consult with racialized communities about news coverage on an ongoing basis.
  5. Take a structural approach to improving representation beyond corporate training and workshops.
  6. Create scholarships and mentorship opportunities targeted towards aspiring journalists of colour.
  7. Start the work of diversity and inclusion in Canadian journalism schools.
CWA Canada represents 6,000 media workers at the CBC, The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters, VICE Canada, and newspapers and other media companies coast to coast.

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