Newsrooms in the United States struggle with how to reflect their communities at best
Reuters: A number of American news organizations that faced with race and bias issues in their coverage after the killing of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 have had to confront them again amid extensive coverage of Gabby Petito's disappearance this year.
Critics have reported that the young white woman received far more media attention than missing women of color.
On Thursday, Reuters Next conference co-founder Amanda Zamora and BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Mark Schoofs discussed these and other concerns in news organizations who fall short.
Her news agency, Zamora, is dedicated to reporting on gender, politics, and policy, and she claims it was formed in response to sexist media coverage of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid in 2016. Legacy news organizations seeking to serve their communities must go beyond hiring a diverse workforce, she claims.
As colleagues, there will be tension in a wide and cross-sectional newsroom, Zamora remarked. "If you're creating a diverse and intersectional newsroom, there's going to be these inherent tensions that are opportunities for growth."
BuzzFeed's Schoofs, whose newsroom pioneered a beat about the LGBT community, stated his organization actively seeks community input with callouts on social media and invites readers to submit tips or additional information.
It can be really inventive ways to reach out to make sure you include different voices, so that you're actually asking people with different experiences to come and reach out to you, added Schoofs.
We're also seeking for people in particular communities that may not have interacted much with the press before, certainly not a national organization like BuzzFeed News or the 19th or Reuters, to see if we can incorporate them into our journalism, he said.
Zamora addressed her work on a recent Aspen Institute report about information disorder, the growing spread of false information including misinformation, and deinformation, asked about addressing blind spots in reporting.
Sometimes we fixate so much on a surface level of political division and fighting that we miss what the underlying cause of so much of that is and a lot of it comes down to trauma between and among communities, Zamora added.
He called the Belarus-Poland border crisis, which he described as "a manufactured crisis, very heavily focused on who is in and out based on their national identity, based on borders," and urged journalists to challenge their assumptions and the things they take for granted.
Please register here to watch the Reuters Next conference to watch.
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