The Marshall Project: Diversity and Inclusion, 2019
A message from our new Editor-in-Chief
One of the lessons I have learned over my career about diversity and inclusion is that commitment has to come from the top of an organization. So when I joined The Marshall Project as editor-in-chief, I pledged that I would make diversity and inclusion a passionate and personal priority. With the strong support of our president, Carroll Bogert, we have already made progress in our newsroom and our organization overall. But we have much more work to do—and many ideas about how to do it. We hope to collaborate on and disseminate best practices in the nonprofit journalism world and in our approach to the communities affected by our work.
– Susan Chira, Editor-in-Chief
Our Progress in 2019
In 2019 we focused on diversifying our editorial management team and adopted inclusion as a guiding principle. We have worked to ensure that all members of our staff have an opportunity to develop their talents. We are encouraging our team members to view their unique backgrounds as assets in our newsroom.
- We added two editors and one reporter of color, and hired two more team members who are formerly incarcerated. Three women and one non-binary person joined our full-time staff.
- We launched News Inside, a free magazine distributed at hundreds of prisons across the country for people who are often blocked from receiving news. Its director chooses material from The Marshall Project’s archives that he thinks would be useful to people who remain inside.
- Our senior multimedia editor, who hires freelance photographers, illustrators and other visual artists, now asks them to share their demographic data on a voluntary basis. She uses the information to ensure she hires members of underrepresented groups.
- The Marshall Project embarked on a partnership with the Sundance Institute to produce a series of short films about criminal justice issues in the United States. Each filmmaking team must include at least one person in a key role who has been affected by the justice system.
- Under a new policy to enhance career development for all, staff members can now choose a training conference or workshop to attend each year.
- We participated in the Asian American Journalists Association national convention for the first time. We expanded our investigative reporting training with the National Association of Black Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors in Birmingham, Alabama. We led a well-attended data reporting workshop at the NABJ national conference. At both NABJ and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention, we co-hosted events to promote nonprofit journalism.
- To improve our staff’s cultural competency, we all took the Fault Lines training from the Maynard Institute, which promotes diversity in journalism. And to study the roots of mass incarceration, our entire staff and board visited the Equal Justice Initiative’s lynching memorial and museum in Montgomery, Alabama.
Goals for 2020
Together we will define inclusion and work to make it part of The Marshall Project’s DNA. We will continue our commitment to diversify our team at all levels. And we will devote significant resources to expanding the audience for our work, including tapping into communities directly affected by incarceration.
The End-of-Year Numbers
The Marshall Project has no employees who identify as Native American, Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.
* The demographic survey for the freelance photographers and illustrators had an 84% response rate.
* The percentages in the charts have been rounded and may not add up to 100.
Download a PDF of the report.