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NABJ Joins NAB on Diversity Guide

Wednesday, April 12, 2017  
Posted by: Veronique Dodson
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Collective Effort Produces Diversity Guide for Broadcasters

NABJ joins with NAB and others to explore coverage of diverse audiences


Washington D.C. (April 12, 2017) - The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is proud to have participated in a major effort to improve the coverage of communities of color, through the production of a diversity guide for newsrooms. The toolkit will be released today by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the NAB Education Foundation.

The announcement occurs at the Newseum on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. EDT. A livestream will be available starting at 12:30 p.m. here. Join the conversation by using #AwarenessInReporting and view the announcement agenda here.

Spearheaded by the NAB, in response to challenges many newsrooms faced following a series of police-involved shootings in the past year, NABJ was one of several groups collaborating to develop "Awareness In Reporting," a guide for broadcasters covering diverse audiences.

NABJ President Sarah Glover praised the collaboration and stressed the importance of transparency and self examination.

"Clearly the need for a diversity guide for broadcasters indicates we still have work to do almost 50 years after the Kerner Commission Report," she said. "I applaud NAB for taking on a leadership role in our industry with this very important and necessary document. NABJ intimately understands the issues around diversity in the newsroom and I am excited NABJ was a part of this critical work."

The guide, which is an online tool and reference guide for NAB members, newsrooms at-large as well as journalism schools, attempts to address some of the issues faced by journalists covering breaking news, such as social media's impact on coverage and the public's perception of the issues.

Additionally, the guide contains guidelines for developing and nurturing diverse voices and viewpoints in coverage and in the daily operation of newsrooms. In some instances, the situations highlighted in the guide spoke to underlying racial and social tensions between law enforcement and disempowered communities.

Ironically, the release of the guide comes as the nation prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission Report in February 2018. That in-depth report criticized mainstream media for its failure to understand the issues and concerns of African Americans, following a series of urban riots in the 1960s.

"This effort speaks to many of the same issues that NABJ was founded around more than 40 years ago," said NABJ Treasurer Greg Morrison. "Through efforts such as this, we hope to make the industry better."

Along with NABJ Vice President of Digital, Benét Wilson, the team provided key input into the document and insights brought to the process by a wide variety of journalists, educators, and broadcast managers.

According to Glover, NABJ hopes the release of this diversity guide will bolster a series of conversations in our industry and inside newsrooms, improve coverage of all communities, and encourage diversity as a standard practice within newsrooms across the country. NABJ stands ready to partner on these important conversations.

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About the National Association of Black Journalists: An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information, please visit  www.nabj.org.


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