Nieman Lab last week reported that only 303 out of 2,500 print and online news organizations responded to a News Leaders Association survey they have been conducting for decades.
That prompted the Asian American Journalists Association to join 60 other professional journalism organizations, non-profits, and labor unions to call for more transparency, according to Public Integrity. The letter asks Pulitzer Prizes to add language to require newsrooms to participate in the News Leaders Association’s annual diversity survey or a similar survey by 2024 in order to be considered for their journalism awards.
The new open letter was organized by Sis Wei, director of OpenNews, and Jon Schleuss, president of The NewsGuild, Nieman Lab reports.
The open letter, addressed to Pulitzer Prizes administrator Marjorie Miller, was sent on Friday morning.
Wei and Schleuss sought help from the News Leaders Association and Meredith Clark, the professor at Northeastern University who has a past of running a diversity survey since 2018 in writing the letter, Nieman Lab reported.
Wei said to Nieman Lab that the group made sure “the criteria we were asking for was both firm and generous.”
“AAJA firmly supports this effort towards greater transparency for diversity,” said AAJA national board member Jin Ding, according to AAJA. “We know from our own lived experiences as AAPI journalists and journalists of color that diverse newsrooms are an asset – a necessity – to quality journalism and sustainability of the news business. To resist being transparent about diversity and inclusion is to ignore the opportunity to engage diverse audiences and to improve the industry overall. AAJA enthusiastically signs on to this effort to urge the Pulitzer Prizes to require participation in NLA’s annual diversity survey.”
“The Pulitzer Prizes are synonymous with excellence in journalism, and AAJA demands the same standards of excellence when it comes to newsrooms’ commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said AAJA executive director Naomi Tacuyan Underwood to AAJA. “Journalism must be accountable to the same level of transparency that they demand of other institutions of influence and power.”
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