Elon University’s NC Local News Workshop and UNC’s Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media are partnering on a diversity audit of North Carolina’s newsrooms. The audit is an outgrowth of the Workshop’s Media Equity Project. As the project’s media companies spent 2021 working to create more equitable newsrooms, the need for a more comprehensive staffing picture and better benchmarking became clear.
The 2022 Diversity Audit for NC Newsrooms is likely the first of its kind in the state, as it seeks to survey all news outlets regardless of size, location or media platform. The research, designed by CISLM Research Director Jessica Mahone, will be used to guide programming to help newsrooms make progress on diversity, equity and inclusion, and provide benchmarking newsrooms can use.
The audit will include two surveys: one for organizations and one for individuals. It will include both news and non-news staff at news organizations. The surveys will be quantitative in nature and will cover racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation and disability diversity; where applicable, they will use US Census categories to give the data more comparison points. The research aims to establish baseline data about NC news organizations.