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The Whole Story
Immigration reporting: How to advance it and make it original
Black Americans: The best journalists know their history
Covering the heart of poverty, not just its victims
Reporting on the same-sex marriage debate
The Definition of Diversity
Diversity Style Guides Roundup
Build Some Background
Covering the heart of poverty

Diversity Sourcebook
Diversity Toolbox
Sourcebook Teaching Plan
Anti-Profiling Guidelines
The Whole Story: Tips & Tools
Chapter Programming
Diversity Committee

Who's News?
SPJ's Diversity Committee Blog
View all entries
Diverse averse
Announcing the Reginald Stuart Diversity Management fellows
New Reginald Stuart Diversity Management Fellowship to offer access to training

Diversity Committee
On both chapter and national levels, SPJ provides an open forum for the discussion of diversity issues in journalism. This committee's purpose is to promote a broader voice in newsrooms across the country and expand the depth and quality of news reports through better sourcing. Its ongoing project is the compilation of experts — primarily women, gays and lesbians, people of color and people with disabilities — through the Society's Diversity Source Book. The Society's relevance to its member is based on inclusiveness.

Diversity Committee Chair

April Bethea
Online Producer
The Charlotte Observer
Bio (click to expand) April Bethea is an online producer at The Charlotte Observer where she helps highlight, curate and create content for their website and other digital platforms. She joined the online team in 2013 after more than eight years as a reporter covering topics including county government, education, and breaking news.

Bethea is secretary of the Greater Charlotte SPJ chapter. She was a 2013 SPJ Diversity Leadership Fellow and a 2013 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute graduate. Nashville will be her third Excellence in Journalism conference.

Bethea also is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and served as president of its Charlotte chapter when it re-launched nearly a decade ago. She was a fellow this spring with the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.

Outside of work, Bethea volunteers with Hands on Charlotte and enjoys attending local theatre productions when she can.

Georgiana Vines, vice chair
Retired Associate Editor
Knoxville News Sentinel

Diversity Committee Members

Tracy Everbach
Associate Professor of Journalism
University of North Texas

Sally Lehrman
Santa Clara University
Montara, Calif.
Bio (click to expand) picture Sally Lehrman holds Santa Clara University’s Knight Ridder — San Jose Mercury News Endowed Chair in Journalism and the Public Interest. Also an independent journalist, Lehrman specializes in covering identity, race relations and gender within the context of medicine and science. Her byline credits include Scientific American, Health,, The New York Times, Nature, The Boston Globe and The DNA Files, the Peabody Award-winning documentary series distributed by National Public Radio. Lehrman is author of News in a New America, a fresh take on diversity in coverage and staffing, and served for a decade as national diversity chair for the Society of Professional Journalists. She was a 1995-96 John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University and is an Institute for Justice and Journalism Senior Fellow on race.

Walter Middlebrook
Assistant Managing Editor
The Detroit News
615 W. Lafayette Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226

Jeremy Steele
Director of Media Relations
The John Truscott Group
124 W. Allegan St., Ste. 802
Lansing, MI 48933

Rebecca Tallent
University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho

Georgiana Vines
Retired Associate Editor
Knoxville News Sentinel

Sherri Williams
Adjunct Professor
Syracuse University
Freelance Multimedia Journalist

Home > Diversity > The Whole Story: Diversity Tips and Tools

The Whole Story: Diversity Tips and Tools

Immigration reporting: How to advance it and make it original
Immigration reporting has been around long enough for stories and themes to start sounding pretty stale. I covered immigration in the mid-1990s, then went to cover Latin America for almost nine years and followed it from that side — and in the U.S., at times. Now I’m back in California covering immigration again. The basic story hasn’t changed, but the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center altered the framework and the national attitude.

Black Americans: The best journalists know their history
Would a historian view today’s representation of African Americans in the media as honest and accurate? Do we know enough as journalists to tell the shared story of America in its fullness and complexity? A richer understanding will surely deepen your writing with texture and context, and may even supply some story ideas. Here are some suggested books and resources from SPJ Diversity Committee members and participants in the diversity leadership program.

What’s in a name? Reporting on the same-sex marriage debate
Eight states will vote on legislation concerning whether or not marriage rights can be conferred to couples of the same-sex. When writing or reporting on this issue, many journalists and news organizations have adopted the phrase “gay marriage.” But what does that communicate? Does it really address the issues being debated? Does it accurately describe what is at stake for everyone?

Covering the heart of poverty, not just its victims
When writing about low-wage work or poverty, journalists gravitate toward the person who has trouble making ends meet or the one who defeated all odds and is squarely on the road to success. Instead of always framing stories around individual success or loss, we can consider the choices that we make as a society. We can investigate potential solutions, rather than falling prey to the assumption that income inequities built into society can't and won't change.

Definition of Diversity
What does “diversity” mean to you?

Diversity Style Guides Roundup
When is your source American Indian or when is he Native American? Not sure of the background of the pink triangle symbol or what a reference to “Stonewall” is all about? Check out the latest resources for journalists who want to do a better job covering the distinct communities that make up the U.S. population.

Build Some Background
It’s not easy to break into an unfamiliar community and find great sources on demand. If reporters develop some background first, they will be ready to hit the streets when they're on deadline. Here are some ways to learn more about community issues and develop a broader sector of possible sources.

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