The Washington Post’s Swati Sharma gave her thoughts on diversity in 2017. In a very well written call to action, Sharma urges journalists across the nation to support an immediate increase in workplace diversity.
In reading her article, the most significant point Sharma made focused on the need for diverse coverage on news segments such as Black Lives Matter (BLM). A great example is the New York Times not having any black reporters on its sports staff. In this instance a black writer is most certainly needed to help explain the viewpoint of black athletes and their internal struggles with the BLM movement. When these types of subjects are ignored, we as the audience receive explanations of a situation through the eyes of a lens that may not be the right lens. As a writer, it’s ok to admit that you have no frame of reference when covering a certain topic, but if no one is there to help you uncover the truth of it, then you and your audience will suffer.
In addition to diverse viewpoints, Sharma also discussed the recruiting process that has led to today’s lack of diversity.
According to Sharma, “Recruiters are looking for candidates who have resumes that are identical to the journalists they are used to hiring.” As Sharma says, this is indeed unacceptable, and news organizations owe it to their audience to recruit more thoroughly to provide the correct voice to cover, research, and explain a given situation. In the journalism profession, who writes what matters. And when viewpoints are non-existent in your coverage extremist views like Breitbart materialize.
Check out Swati Sharma’s article below: