How journalists can ensure equitable information access in their communities

Explore the #ONAinfoequity database, a collaboration through Community Circles

By on February 2, 2021

Today, we are sharing a comprehensive database of resources for journalists to engage communities that are underrepresented in their reporting. It’s a central, easy-to-access hub with guidance for identifying gaps in information access, making the case for community engagement to newsroom leadership and discovering ways to improve existing efforts.

The database is the work of an ONA Community Circle focused on addressing information inequity. Community Circles are virtual discussion and project groups that connect and mobilize ONA members to tackle a journalism topic of shared interest. ONA connects peers who are working on the same problems, and provides trained hosts to lead discussion and collaboration towards a shared resource.

Led by Free Press’ Vanessa Maria Graber and ONA Board member Anita Li, more than a dozen committed engagement journalists from around the world met regularly for three months, from November 2020, to crowdsource, vet, compile and organize relevant resources. The #ONAinfoequity database is a one-stop shop featuring articles, videos and audio that are tagged with identity-based and geographic labels for ease of search and sorting.

The question that came up the most in group discussions was, “How to begin the conversation about addressing information inequity in one’s newsroom?” Along with the database, the group created an infographic that lays out a suggested process for formulating a strategy to reach underrepresented communities respectfully and thoughtfully. It provides a starting point to implement the resources in the database into your newsroom.

Graphic Credit: Brian Mains, WCPO Channel 9

How you can get involved

Dive into the #ONAinfoequity database


Project Leads

Vanessa Maria Graber, Free Press
Anita Li, ONA Board Member and Vice-Chair of Community and Education Committee

Project Team Members

Ismail Akwei, GhanaWeb
Gina Baleria, Sonoma State University
Caroline Bauman, Chalkbeat
Gabriela Brenes, La Voz de Guanacaste
Sara Catania, Solutions Journalism Network
Peyton Chance, Viget
Jessica Chapel, Harvard Law School Library
simon frantz, BBC Global News
Jordan Gass-Poore’, Independent
Christopher Gentilviso, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Judy-Anne Goldman, HPE’s Enterprise.nxt
Liza Gross, Solutions Journalism Network
John Hernandez, American Press Institute
Maudi Maadil, University of the Philippines Diliman / The Free Minds
Brian Mains, WCPO Channel 9
Kate Maxwell, The Mendocino Voice
Patricia A. Murray, Durham Skywriter / TV Skywriter
Erica Smith, Times Union
Stephanie Snyder, Hearken
Lucy Sun, Google
Nick Swyter, The New York Times
Shay Totten, Compass Experiment
Yihui Xie, Yale-NUS College

To learn about the latest resources and opportunities from the Online News Association, subscribe to the ONA Weekly newsletter.

To explore partnerships and other ways to invest in our mission to inspire and support innovation in digital journalism, contact Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Jessica Strelitz at