The Associated Press, The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, and The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education today announced plans to work together to improve diversity in newsrooms and news reports through journalistic and leadership training and more inclusive storytelling.
The Inclusive Journalism Initiative is an effort by the organizations to move the news industry toward a comprehensive plan for smarter and more expansive coverage of race and systemic inequality.
The initiative will accelerate the work of all three groups to grow the number and caliber of training opportunities for news leaders and aspiring investigative editors from underrepresented communities.
AP will enhance its own inclusive storytelling effort, launched in 2020, within the news agency and in customer newsrooms in the U.S. through new training.
“Inclusive newsrooms benefit from well-trained news leaders equipped with the right skills for significantly addressing the inequalities that, like every aspect of our culture, have impacted journalism through the years,” said AP Vice President and Head of News Audience Amanda Barrett, who along with Deputy Managing Editor Sarah Nordgren was responsible for building the initiative. “The collaboration announced today sets in motion a journalism future we all can be proud of.”
“The glaring and persistent lack of diversity, equity and belonging across journalism has deeply eroded the credibility of this craft, particularly in the eyes of communities of color,” said Maynard Institute Co-Executive Director Martin G. Reynolds. “Most mainstream news organizations lack the training and capacity to connect with new and emerging audiences. This initiative will help to address this challenge by enabling us to offer our Fault Lines diversity framework training to AP member newsrooms that may otherwise not have access to it. Our goal is to help these outlets create better journalism and to rethink their approach to organizational culture.”
“This initiative is about a fundamental shift in the way we do news in this country,” said Ida B. Wells Society Director Rhema Bland. “It’s an acknowledgement that the health and survival of this industry and in turn our democracy hinges on an expansive, comprehensive culture change.”
Goals of the Inclusive Journalism Initiative include:
- Providing AP’s audience with solutions-based journalism and data that informs more inclusive news stories.
- Building deeper and smarter spot news and enterprise coverage in words and visuals of communities of color by an enhanced focus that embraces all subject areas.
- Equipping journalists at all stages of their careers, within and beyond AP, with the tools and training they need to lead the news industry on these issues going forward.
- Developing new, industry-wide professional standards for inclusive storytelling, including an expanded section of the AP Stylebook, the must-have reference for writers, editors, students and professionals.
The funding for the initiative will be administered through the Maynard Institute and through Journalism Funding Partners, which helps support news organizations through fiscal sponsorship.