New INN Index Report on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Nonprofit News

The nonprofit news movement was launched with the idea that not only the powerful should get to speak through the megaphone of the news media. Yet the reality of nonprofit news organizations lags these ideals. We talk about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as essential to our mission, but how do we measure up?

Today INN is releasing the latest report from our periodic survey of member newsrooms: INN Index 2020: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Nonprofit News. This study is a reality check, and we hope an inspiration for nonprofit news organizations to do more to reflect the diversity of their communities, fight racism and build inclusive audiences.

When INN began looking into how many members were led by people of color and serving communities of color, we counted eight out of about a hundred members fitting either description, in 2016. As the field grew, so did diversity. But ad hoc counts and studies sponsored by traditional media groups didn’t provide a full picture.

To address that, we added deeper DEI data to the 2020 INN Index, which has provided a snapshot of news nonprofits’ staffing, revenue and editorial focus for the past three years. The current survey launched in February, shortly before nationwide protests about police violence against Black Americans brought new urgency to questions of racial justice and equity in the United States. We are grateful for the 117 nonprofit news outlets that provided what we believe is the broadest sampling of DEI so far in this growing field.

Our topline finding: nonprofit newsrooms are more diverse than traditional newsrooms – but there is room for improvement.

We invite you to learn more about how the Institute for Nonprofit News is working to improve DEI within our organization and across the network in INN’s Diversity Report.