The Online News Association, the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and OpenNews are committed to dismantling systemic racism in the journalism industry and transforming news organizations into institutions of belonging.
The past few months, we have worked behind the scenes scheming (the good kind) and strategizing new efforts through our Vision25 collaboration. We’ve convened newsroom leaders, spoken to funders and even brought together many of the people who were newly minted in their news organizations to address diversity, equity and belonging.
The conversations have been robust, revealing and troubling. In April, we’ll share some of what we’ve learned, including how the concept of belonging emerged as the aspiration we are pushing to see operationalized across the news industry.
Meanwhile, we’d like to share with you five opportunities to participate in Vision25 this month—through a fellowship, an event, a coalition, and resources to ensure information equity. And there is more to come.
1. Maynard 200 Fellowship Program
The Maynard 200 Fellowship is the Maynard Institute’s signature professional development program for media professionals of color. The fellowship provides cutting-edge training and year-long mentorship for leaders, storytellers and media entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds guided by the expertise of a distinguished faculty across relevant disciplines. The program supports and emboldens the next generation of leaders, creators and founders of new media ventures. Diverse media executives advance belonging in their newsrooms, thereby advancing the goals of Vision25.
The third episode of Belonging in the News is coming up on Wednesday, March 10 at 3 p.m. EST / 12 p.m. PST. Martin G. Reynolds, event moderator and co-executive director of the Maynard Institute, will discuss institutions of belonging with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and correspondent for CBS News, Wesley Lowery. In addition to discussing his experience investigating police shootings for The Washington Post’s “Fatal Force” project, we will discuss his own journey to find belonging as a journalist.
3. OpenNews is launching the DEI Coalition For Anti-Racist, Equitable, And Just Newsrooms
Over 100 community volunteers have worked to create a digital community space dedicated to learning and taking concrete actions to create newsrooms and workplaces that are anti-racist, equitable and just. The space will serve as a place to work in solidarity across all levels of experience, on challenges members face in moving DEI forward in their newsrooms, and collectively creating strategies and resources to tackle those challenges. The development of this space has embodied the values of belonging that Vision25 is all about: OpenNews has intentionally designed the space with community leaders and members as a collaborative process. You can sign up to receive a notification when the community space, hosted on Slack, opens later this March.
4. The Online News Association’s resource database for information access equity
The #ONAinfoequity database provides resources for journalists to engage communities that are historically under- or misrepresented in the media and ensure equitable access to information. Free Press’ Vanessa Maria Graber and ONA Board member Anita Li led over a dozen journalists to collaborate on this project through an ONA Community Circle. It’s a one-stop shop with guidance for identifying gaps in information access, making the case for community engagement to newsroom leadership and discovering ways to improve existing efforts.
5. Support Vision25
Vision25 is a commitment by our three organizations to advance racial equity in journalism. But, to make this a reality, we need to do this together as an industry. If you’re interested in exploring funding or supporting this work, please email Irving Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a conversation about our plans and how you can help.
The Online News Association was founded in 1999 as a forum for digital news pioneers to collaborate on common challenges and encourage the practice of the highest journalistic standards. Become an ONA member or make a donation to sustain our mission to inspire innovation and excellence in digital journalism.