Women are still depressingly underrepresented in the media. Each year, the Women’s Media Center surveys newsrooms on their representation and in 2018, it found that women make up 41.7 percent of the total workforce in the outlets that responded. Even worse, people of color comprised just 22.6 percent.
I’m proud that HuffPost has a majority-female leadership team, with women in the roles of editor in chief, executive editor, managing editor, and international director. But we, too, have work to do, especially when it comes to racial diversity.
Open hiring processes are essential. Outlets need to consider a wide variety of applicants who may not have a foot in the door and may not have gone to j-school and built up a rolodex of powerful contacts.
Newsrooms need to be as diverse as possible, so they’re speaking to as many people as possible and don’t miss on important stories that may be outside their narrow field of vision. And at a time when trust in the media is plummeting, making sure that reporters and editors don’t all look and think the same is crucial.
Amanda Terkel is the Washington Bureau Chief at HuffPost. Amanda is the recipient of the 2019 Washington Women in Journalism Rising Star award.