Robin Turner, Director of Editorial Diversity Initiatives at Politico, sits down to discuss the power of a well-supported newsroom inclusion program

By Ava Macha

Robin Turner was recently promoted to her role as Director of Editorial Diversity Initiatives at Politico, but she has been fighting for diversity in journalism in some capacity throughout her career of more than 30 years. She started at Politico 10 years ago and helped to found the Politico Journalism Institute (PJI) in 2014 under the leadership of key Politico leaders, with guidance from Dori Maynard and Evelyn Hsu of the Maynard Institute of Journalism (MIJE). The program advanced the partners’ common goal of increasing the flow of diverse journalists into mainstream media.

The Maynard Institute highlighted voices from African-American, Chinese, Latino and Filipino media leaders in a digital dialogue on their long-standing coverage of structural disparities, and the crucial role of a collective movement for racial equity.

By Aaron Glantz

News outlets with positive engagement from communities of color built relationships before COVID-19

By Jean Marie Brown

It’s been more than 50 years since the Kerner Report, a government-sponsored assessment of institutional American racism, all but indicted

journalists for failing to produce a multi-dimensional report on black America. Since then, the journalists and media companies have vowed to do better at everything from coverage to hiring.

Inroads of course have been made, but COVID-19 serves as a stark reminder that the efforts of mainstream media remain at odds with the report’s admonition that black people should be recognized as part of society at-large, rather than marginalized as other.

Much of the coverage continues…

Black press has exposed the extent of institutionalized health inequality, but will anything change?

By Odette Alcazaren-Keeley

In mid-April, initial demographic data including from the CDC pointed to disproportionate impacts of the coronavirus pandemic among communities of color in the United States.

Now a new study of California coronavirus patients published on May 21 in the journal Health Affairs, adds to a growing body of evidence that ethnic and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups are bearing a disproportionate burden of illness and death from the disease.

The Sutter Health analysis of 1,052 COVID-19 cases from January 1–April 8, 2020 found that African Americans had 2.7 times the odds of hospitalization, when compared to non-Hispanic white patients.

Native American media has taken on the challenge of accurately collecting COVID-19 data for tribes across America in order to advocate for their communities.

By Odette Alcazaren-Keeley

In early April, close to 300 million Americans in almost 40 states were under week three of shelter-in-place orders to battle the coronavirus pandemic. As the daily ticker tape showed national and global statistics of infections and deaths, headlines were dominated by initial data trends pointing to the disproportionate health impacts caused by COVID-19 among communities of color.

For ethnic media journalists, this is not news — deep disparities in health, healthcare and insurance access, nutrition, housing, jobs, wages, and education, are lived experiences amongst their diverse audiences.

Many believe these systemic inequities have made communities of…

Giving prejudiced voices 50 percent of coverage doesn’t make your reporting impartial.

By Jean Marie Brown

Sift through the COVID-19 reports and you’ll likely find the Fault Line of race just below the surface.

You’re also likely to find journalists falling into the trap of false equivalency in the name of “fairness” or in an effort to reveal official bias and prejudice, or ignoring the role of race and the people involved in the name of the bigger story. The journalists writing these stories are well-intentioned, I’m sure. They are trying to tell a horrible story in a way that will resonate with and enlighten the public. …

News media tends to leave out the LGBTQ voice; a single source from the nonheterosexual community doesn’t cut it.

By Martin G. Reynolds

Mainstream news outlets frame the coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the LGBTQ community through a lens of fear and risk. And although outlets that serve this constituency also highlight risks facing their audiences, the tone of the coverage is decidedly different, rooted in community, resources and resilience.

On the mainstream side, this NBC News piece talks about how the coronavirus pandemic is “a perfect storm for LGBTQ homeless youth.”

During a pandemic, where we live affects our access to healthcare, but also the quality of our internet connections and access to outdoor exercise and leisure activities.

By Jean Marie Brown

The Fault Line of geography runs throughout the coverage of COVID-19. On the surface, it’s the answer to “where” and “proximity” as the locations of cases and hotspots dominate newscasts and headlines.

It’s incumbent upon journalists to understand that societal Fault Lines — race, gender, generation, class, sexual orientation and geography — run deep below the surface, just as geological faults do. In recognizing geography as a Fault Line, Robert C. …

American faith rituals are rapidly changing during coronavirus quarantine and there are fewer religion reporters than ever to go beyond surface level coverage.

By Felecia D. Henderson

Years of staffing cuts have gnawed away at key areas of expertise that used to reside within so many of America’s newsrooms. That void perhaps is no more apparent than around the topic of religion.

With the world now fighting coronavirus like the plague it is, religion is front and center. But the coverage of “the Word” in some cases lacks the kind of context and nuance that the topic requires and deserves.

The Maynard Institute is examining coverage of COVID-19 across the organization’s Fault Lines framework, created by founder Robert C. Maynard after the 1989…

The Maynard Institute is offering a series of free, live webinars to its program alumni, members and the broader media community. These sessions feature an array of expertise, resources and discussions that aim to bolster inclusive coverage, and support the work of journalists of all backgrounds, amid the pandemic. These sessions are offered free of charge but if you find value in these resources, please donate any amount and automatically join our membership program.


Belonging in the News: Part One with Nikole Hannah-Jones

The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education

The nation’s oldest organization dedicated to helping the news media accurately, fairly & credibly portray all segments of society. &

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store