Saturday Morning Keynote: Race, Gender and Technology: The Third Rail?
A panel of digital journalists will confront questions of diversity often lost in the new media technology and economy discussion: Who is online? Who is innovating? What’s the environment for entrepreneurs? What’s the history of women and people of color in digital journalism? This roundtable discussion will also take a statistical look at who’s being hired and who’s in charge.
Session Updates (16)
Moderator Retha Hill started off with a quiz on the history of diversity in media. Attendees barely passed. “I guess these are coming back home with me,” Hill said of some of the prizes she brought for correct answers.
“Hopefully we can have a really good conversation about diversity, opportunities, missed opportunities, and hopefully we can rethink where we are now and think about the talent that’s out there in the United States, people doing all these amazing things, and make sure we can incorporate those voices.”
- Retha Hill introducing the session
“People of Color Must Innovate or Die in Digital Media” – MediaShift essay by Retha Hill considered a “must-read” by at least one attendee.
“People in venture ccapital … tend to invest in guys who are like them, white and male. The club retains that kind of exclusionary environment. It’s very hard to get funding if you’re a woman or if you’re a minority today. Just look at the numbers. There’s no disputing that.”
- Joel Dreyfuss
“In the Mercury News newsrooms there was a woman, a Latina, who was an editor. Celia Cruz had died and it didn’t really register with anyone but her. She said, ‘Are you kidding? This is front page news.’ It was because of her and her presence that that story made the front page of the paper.”
- Sam Diaz giving his best example of how a diverse newsroom makes for more relevant community coverage
“Our audience is 70 percent of color and about a third international…. They want to see themselves reflected in media. They don’t want to see the white lens. And increasingly, they don’t want to see the western lens.”
- Latoya Peterson of Racialicious on how audiences of color are changing – and becoming more global
“We don’t ‘attract’ audiences anymore. Part of our job is to go where our audience is. It’s the same notion of building a diverse staff by finding new sources and new recruits…. The formula has changed. You need to go out where the communities are and develop it from there.”
- Bruce Koon
“Let’s redouble our efforts to create diversity in our newsrooms and organizations.… The stakes are high. And we need to make sure especially in our political coverage and with what’s going on in the economy that were including lots of voices, that we’re not leaving people behind.”
- Retha Hill, wrapping up the keynote
Ashley Lisenby recaps the panel discussion of the past, present and future of diversity in journalism.
With the economy faltering, diversity is taking a hit in newsrooms across the country, says Sam Diaz, an editor at ZDNet. Diaz gave some thoughts on diversity in online newsrooms after Saturday morning’s keynote panel discussion – Race, Gender and Technology: The Third Rail?