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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.

Home > Diversity > Diversity Toolbox

Diversity Toolbox

Sourcebook board of advisors | Acknowledgements

Welcome to the Society of Professional Journalists' Rainbow Sourcebook and Diversity Toolbox. The source book, a database searchable by common news topics, features qualified experts from demographic groups underrepresented in the news. The toolbox offers essays and links to resources that will help you broaden the perspectives and voices in your work. Journalists who want to improve their reporting will find valuable help throughout these areas of the site.

This sourcebook is an important outgrowth of SPJ's mission because it helps make diversity in coverage easy. We highlight diversity in our mission statement because we believe it is essential to excellence and high standards in reporting.  We incorporate diversity in our code of ethics because we believe journalists must make every effort to describe all aspects of the human experience, that we must avoid the stereotyping and limited vision that corrupt accuracy. Comprehensive and fair news coverage is essential to an informed public and to democracy itself.

Journalism is often a rushed business. Good reporters must continually find new sources. And~seeking the truth~requires searching for truths and viewpoints that may not be apparent in every newsroom. We hope you'll use this source book often, and we hope you'll add your own suggestions to it to create an even better tool.

— Robert Leger, Past National President
— Sally Lehrman, Diversity Chair

Sourcebook advisors

Tom Arviso Jr. is publisher and editor of the Navajo Times, the largest Native American owned weekly newspaper.
Bill Celis is assistant professor of journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication.
Jon Funabiki is deputy director for media, arts and culture at the Ford Foundation.
Marcus Mabry is a senior editor for Newsweek magazine’s international edition.
Betty Medsger, who founded the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism at San Francisco State University; is a freelance writer and journalism education consultant.
Yanick Rice Lamb, who teaches journalism at Howard University, has worked at newspapers and magazines ranging from The New York Times to Child.
Erna Smith, a professor of journalism at San Francisco State, studies and writes regularly about coverage of mainstream news portrayals of diverse groups.
Keith Woods directs the writing programs for The Poynter Institute, a school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fl.
David Yarnold is senior vice president and executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News.
Raul Ramirez is executive producer of news and public affairs at KQED-FM in San Francisco.
Arlene Morgan is director of the Workshops on Race and Ethnicity at The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
Beth Haller, an assistant professor of journalism at Towson University, has studied and written extensively about news coverage of people with disabilities.
— Venise Wagner covered the black community for the Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner and is an associate professor of journalism at San Francisco State University.


Dedicated to Charles Jackson: Editor, teacher, mentor, and stalwart for diversity

Funded by the SDX Foundation

Project Director: Sally Lehrman

Thanks to all who helped put this resource together, especially the following:

Web design
InetSolution, Inc.
Greg Jones

Rainbow research
Tracy Jan
Sue Landsittel
Amanda Lam
Karina Ioffee
Lisa Daniels
Janine Sutherlin
Connie Murray
Sara Millman
Michelle Jeffers
Sara Dunn
Ann L. Kim
Dale Eastman
Eric Young

Technical help
Randy Reddick
Mauro Alvarez
Robert Harlow

Office space
Center for Investigative Reporting
Stanford University
Center for the Integration and Improvement of Journalism
The Grotto, San Francisco
Mac McKerral
Greg Jones

Moral and other support
Tom Ballantyne
Gordon D. McKerral
Reginald Stuart
Kyle Niederpruem
Al Cross
Venise Wagner
Peter Sussman
SDX Board (1998-2002)
SPJ Board (1998-2002)
Julie Grimes
New York Deadline Club
Eric Brazil
David Carlson
Paul McMasters
Paul Davis
Catherine Davis
Tammi Hughes
Dori J. Maynard
Steve Chin
Felix Gutierrez
Greg Lewis
SPJ NorCal Board
SPJ Diversity Committee
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