SPJ 2020 Journalism Conference • Sept. 12-13, 2020



Why is it important to hire staff who reflect your community?

By eijnews

Why do newsrooms need diverse voices?“We have seen a lot of movement in TV newsroom with diverse looking faces, people of color on camera, reporters, anchors, meteorologist sportsman, I think they're doing a pretty good job with that across the board in the industry, the next frontier would be to bring in some diversity into the management,” said Ken Molestina, anchor and reporter at CBS 11.Andrea Valdez is the first Latina editor of a statewide publication in Texas. After the panel, she told EIJ news, “When it comes to leaders who are cognizant of diversity, and are trying to incorporate that into their news organizations, the one thing I would encourage is making sure that you are educating yourself and talking to your staff correctly.”Edwin Lopez, Editorial Operations Manager at Industry Dive said, “even if you haven't felt it, you have some sort of unconscious bias. Part of diversity is also being trained and able to recognize it. So that when you're writing, you can catch yourself and  stop any faux pas and choosing the right words and the most inclusive words.”“I'm up in Vermont, where it's like 90% White people, but we have an African American reporter who we just hired. And one of her first questions to me was,’how am I gonna fit in? How am I going to fit in here?’ So what can I do to make the experience good for her,” asked an audience member.While moderating the panel, Rebecca Aguilar spoke about little initiatives which can be adopted to make reporters feel at home. She said, “I think when you have someone, it doesn't matter if they are a person of color. But when you do something, then you feel at home. Especially with Latino families, were very tight with their families. And so it's already hard to get away”



The EIJ News