2022 Diversity Audit

2022 Diversity Audit for NC Newsrooms logo

Introducing the 2022 Diversity Audit for N.C. Newsrooms

The NC Local News Workshop is partnering with UNC’s Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media on a statewide diversity audit for newsrooms of all types in North Carolina.

The 2022 Diversity Audit for NC Newsrooms includes two surveys: one survey for individuals and one survey for organizations. Surveys include both news and non-news staff at news organizations. The surveys are quantitative in nature and cover racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation and disability diversity. Where applicable, U.S. Census categories will be used to give the data more comparison points. The goal is to establish baseline data, not assess opinions or attitudes of the staff.

The audit 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.

About the Approach

The need for the diversity audit became clear through our pilot NC Media Equity Project in 2021, during which six of our state’s media companies worked to create more equitable newsrooms to better serve their communities. We learned a lot from that program, including that there’s a lot about the diversity of our newsrooms and their coverage areas that we do not know from a state-level view. We also learned that we need to have better benchmarking to help our newsrooms create achievable and actionable goals to work toward.

We know from our research and pilot program that our communities feel more represented and engaged when their local newsrooms include people of color and journalists with other backgrounds and perspectives. The results of this audit will help us assess gaps and opportunities for capacity-building programs in specific areas of our state so that we can ensure communities of all types have access to news.

This audit will measure and track the diversity of staff in newsrooms. Our goal is to reach every newsroom in our state with the survey, because having a staff that reflects the diversity of North Carolina is the baseline for a consistent commitment to inclusion.

Sign Up for Updates

If you are interested in receiving details about the survey, please complete our form for regular updates. Please share with others in your newsroom as well as other organizations.