Fifty years after the Kerner Commission report (and four decades after the founding of NABJ and NAHJ), “pipeline” efforts to bring more journalists of color into mainstream media are beginning to bear fruit. Even as we celebrate the increasing diversity in newsrooms, however, we recognize that these efforts have yet to tackle the structural inequities at journalism’s core. As Ade Emanuel found at the Chicago Reader, hiring journalists of color is not enough when bias is built into the fabric of a news operation.
Over the past several years, a group of journalists, justice advocates and radical communicators have been meeting to interrogate the choice points that lead to structural bias within journalism. We’ve found that a key difference between mass media newsrooms and outlets created by and for communities of color has to do with how journalism is framed. In equitable newsrooms, the practice of journalism is rooted in values, and centered within a culturally-specific community. We call this practice "movement journalism."
The work of defining movement journalism is just beginning. Our workshop will build on a Race Forward training in Philadelphia in 2016, an unconference in DC in 2017, and a movement journalism track that our group hosted at the AMC in June 2018. We will start by sharing what we learned at AMC, then engage workshop participants in brainstorming how journalists can best center communities. The work we do at Facing Race will feed into the birth of a new network of movement journalists launching in 2019.