BY LASHARAH S. BUNTING & ALI SHEHAB

News organizations have come to understand this important truth: a deep relationship with readers leads to improved trust, stronger journalism and sustainable business. Yet that authentic connection can be difficult to establish when newsroom leaders and staff don’t reflect the communities they serve.

Diversity in newsrooms is among the biggest challenges facing the industry, yet the commitment to tackling this problem is often insufficient or nonexistent. News organizations can’t begin to offer viable solutions if they don’t fully understand, or acknowledge, the extent and scope of the problem. And, as journalists know, to thoroughly interpret any important issue, you must begin with the data.
The transparency that journalists often demand of the sources and institutions they cover must also be applied to the newsroom and its operations. To inspire trust in journalism and deepen engagement, it is vital that the public has the information and context they need to assess the work. 
We cannot advance diversity in newsrooms without measuring it, and the collection and analysis of this data is a vital step forward. This is data that every news organization should be regularly gathering and examining on its own. It is essential to developing sound strategic priorities, while and attracting new audiences and subscribers. It also helps to identify institutional blind spots and challenges, as well as opportunities for growth. Talk to the people in your newsroom and those who have recently left. Examine if your newsroom culture truly embraces diverse voices or has a reputation of silencing them. 


Readers ultimately lose out when certain voices are routinely absent. News organizations must respond with urgency and live up to their promise of fair, accurate representation of all people.
Hostwriter is an international organisation, based in Berlin, that helps journalists from all over the world to collaborate across borders. Diversity in newsrooms is an essential approach in our media models.