Before Russia started the war in Ukraine, most efforts in the media industry centred around digital transformation. Let’s get that done and then tackle newsroom diversity; this was a common, if not always openly voiced narrative. Then came 24th February when Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine while starting a propaganda war at home. Rightly so, issues of press freedom, disinformation, the sheer protection of journalists’ working conditions and lives took centre stage. Diversity, gender equality? Let’s leave that one for better times, some have been tempted to say. But not so fast. Media organisations and managers should be aware of the fact that making newsrooms more diverse and inclusive will define the future of journalism and the industry. Not only is diversity at the core of digital transformation: Going digital means serving different audiences better and meeting them where they are. But it is also essential for an industry that increasingly suffers from brain drain and a talent crisis.
A report commissioned by the European Federation of Journalists published on 14th April 2022 makes the case for diversity and inclusion from different perspectives. It provides concise talking points for those who need arguments to push for diversity in their organizations or when talking to potential funders. The report can be downloaded free of charge here.