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Valuing diversity in news and newsrooms 2.84 MB

This report is an overview of research findings from the Valuing Diversity in News and Newsrooms project. The project seeks to ask questions about how audiences and journalists perceive diversity in the Australian news landscape. It also seeks to understand how journalists think about and act with diversity in mind while practicing their craft.

The findings show that while the news industry is beginning to address criticism of its lack of diversity, there is still much work to be done. While many acknowledge it is a priority and say that their organisation has diversity and inclusion policies in place, actual targets and training are less common. From our survey and interviews of journalists, we found that discrimination and barriers continue to be a problem faced by women and those from ethnically or culturally diverse backgrounds. Journalists are also likely to say the industry is doing a poor job at giving voice to the underrepresented and providing fair and adequate coverage for all ethnic or cultural groups.

While the industry seeks to address diversity among its workforce, it must also consider the needs of its audience. In this study, the authors asked audiences their views on representation and diversity in news media to provide a broader understanding of the context in which the industry is changing.

Australians are split on this issue. Less than half say that everyone in Australian society is treated equally, regardless of their gender, ethnic or cultural background. When it comes to diversity in news, young people, and those who are recent migrants, are more likely to see the industry as performing well. In contrast, older and left-wing respondents are more critical. However, those from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds did not necessarily share these views on cultural diversity. Views about diversity were more consistent along the lines of age, gender, political orientation or migration recency.

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