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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 > How to Get Help

Diversity Toolbox
How to Get Help

By Catalina Camia

Some people in the news industry know the ethnic and other media associations only as groups fighting to change employment practices. But the companion mission of these organizations – making sure that stories about race, ethnicity, women, and sexual orientation are inclusive and free of stereotypes – is just as important. For journalists who want to get the story right, the organizations devoted to fair coverage of diverse populations are a good place to start.

These groups and their members don’t profess to speak for their communities. They can, however, be a source for journalists who want to better understand the complexities of a diverse society. Do you get confused by the different holidays celebrated by Chinese, Vietnamese, and Hmong? Ask the Asian American Journalists Association. Is it correct to say American Indian? Ask the Native American Journalists Association.

Several of the groups listed here have published coverage handbooks. Some have worked with advocacy organizations, community leaders and others to better understand how media coverage can inadvertently perpetuate stereotypes and misperceptions. You can make a difference by asking these associations for help.

Catalina Camia is a diversity fellow at the Freedom Forum. She is a former president of the Asian American Journalists Association and of UNITY: Journalists of Color.

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