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Marymont Calls for Recommitment to Diversity Principles

As 2010 approaches, we in the News Department have set goals for ourselves.

High on our list is a commitment to restore focus on the importance of diversity in our coverage and our Information Centers.

A local news report is not balanced, fair or accurate if it ignores those in the minority because of ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age, or any other reason.

That should be a guiding principle for every journalist in the company. It should infuse our daily coverage because we have made it a core value.

One of the News Department’s jobs traditionally has been to reinforce this core value and offer training and support. We are committed to renewed focus on that in 2010.

Just as newsrooms became smaller this year, our staff became smaller. The economic crisis was distracting everywhere. But that’s not an excuse – not for you and not for us.

It remains an obligation for Information Centers to reflect all segments of their communities.

It remains the News Department’s obligation to offer help with that. So, in 2010, we will:

* Create a panel of advisors from the field to help identify important steps.
* Revive the All-American Review and the All-American Diversity Award, which we suspended for one year.
* Provide training on the importance of diversity and mainstreaming.
* Ensure that diversity is explored carefully in quality reviews.
* Share examples of good work regularly.

The newest member of our team, Maribel Perez Wadsworth, will head up the News Department’s efforts. Please feel free to contact Maribel or me with ideas.

As we work together to build the journalism of the future, Gannett’s journalists must always remember the value of diversity. It is necessary if our newspapers and digital products are to be credible, relevant and accurate.

Last Modified: December 2009