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For more than 100 years the Society of Professional Journalists has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism and perpetuating a free press.
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Since its founding in 1961, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation has promoted excellence and ethics in journalism. The SDX Foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization that supports the educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and serves the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism.
Excellence in Journalism is the national journalism conference of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association. Join us in September in Nashville for training, networking, workshops and more!
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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
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
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:
Ann L. Kim
Center for Investigative Reporting
Center for the Integration and Improvement of Journalism
The Grotto, San Francisco
Moral and other support
Gordon D. McKerral
SDX Board (1998-2002)
SPJ Board (1998-2002)
New York Deadline Club
Dori J. Maynard
SPJ NorCal Board
SPJ Diversity Committee