The Marshall Project: Diversity and Inclusion, 2020
Every one of us at The Marshall Project believes that we cannot fulfill our mission unless we continue to build a staff, board and management team that is representative of this country, our multiple audiences and the communities most affected by the issues we cover. Our commitment to diversity extends to serving audiences often neglected or caricatured in news media, including the incarcerated, their families and others affected by the justice system.
2020 offered ample evidence of that need. We transformed overnight into an all-remote newsroom chronicling the devastating and unequal impact of COVID-19 on the incarcerated, correctional staff and communities of color, as well as the intensifying protests against police brutality and structural racism in the criminal justice system.
Here’s a brief update on our progress, though we recognize much work lies ahead:
Our Progress in 2020
- We hired four staffers of color this year, out of six total hires. The “Rooney rule”—all finalist pools contain at least one person of color—has been implemented in all hiring in 2020.
- We intensified our commitment to incarcerated audiences on multiple fronts: launching groundbreaking surveys of their political views; building a nationwide database of incarcerated people and their families to assess their news needs and solicit their voices; expanding the distribution of our News Inside print magazine to more than 550 prisons and jails. With the hiring of our new audience engagement editor, we will continue to reach out to readers no other news outlet serves.
- To help with screening and training for our summer internship program, we joined the Dow Jones internship consortium, which maintains relationships with nearly 50 historically Black colleges and universities and other colleges and offers an array of benefits: training, professional memberships, a stipend for technology, and access to an alumni network of journalists who can assist with job placement and career advice.
- We continue to work to diversify our roster of freelance photography and illustrator assignments and added two Native American illustrators.
- Every senior staffer on both the newsroom and business side has now received management training or will by early 2021.
- We increased our training efforts to reach more journalists of color. Over the summer, we partnered with the National Association of Black Journalists and co-taught workshops about data reporting and investigations into policing.
The End-of-Year Numbers
The Marshall Project now uses EEOC race/ethnicity and gender reporting categories. In the charts some categories are abbreviated for space.
Race/Ethnicity: White (Not Hispanic or Latino); Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino); Hispanic or Latino; Native American or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino); Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino); and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino); Two or More Races.
Gender: Nonbinary, Female, Male
The demographic survey of freelance photographers and illustrators used different categories. It had a 98% response rate for race and 87% for gender.
The Marshall Project has no employees who identify as Native American, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.
The percentages in the charts have been rounded and may not add up to 100.