Changing of the Times
Amid a focus on racial equity in American newsrooms and society at large, The New York Times on Feb. 24 published a report critical of its workplace culture and issued “A Call to Action” for reforms to make the company more diverse, equitable and inclusive. The report’s “central finding is that The Times is too often a difficult place to work for people of all backgrounds — particularly colleagues of color, and especially Black and Latino colleagues.”
Practices, systems, and the current environment at the Times — one of the largest and most influential news organizations in the country — do not allow for all staffers to thrive, the report noted. That reality “is particularly true for people of color, many of whom described unsettling and sometimes painful day-to-day workplace experiences.” Asian American women said they felt “invisible and unseen — to the point of being regularly called by the name of a different colleague of the same race, something other people of color described as well.” The report also highlighted a lack of leadership roles for Black and Latino employees.
The findings acknowledged company successes, such as its transformation into a digital newsroom and efforts that have led to more people of color and women on staff, including some in leadership positions. But women of color in particular continue to lack adequate representation in top roles. (At the Times, “leadership” means “director and above on the business side and deputy and above in the newsroom.”)
Proposed reforms are detailed in the report, including improving management practices and “a goal of increasing the representation of Black and Latino colleagues in leadership by 50 percent by 2025.” The report said making the newsroom more diverse, equitable and inclusive will result in news coverage “that provides a truer, richer and more textured portrayal of the world.”