Sincerely, Leaders of Color: What we’ll do in 2022
It’s not enough for us to ask others for their commitments, without first making some of our own.
About this series: Sincerely, Leaders of Color is written for everyone in the journalism industry who cares about creating a more supportive environment for journalists of color to do their best work. Have a question for the team? Drop it here and watch for it in a future column. This column is proudly sponsored by the Executive Program and the Tow Knight Center at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and our guest writers budget is sponsored by The American Press Institute.
Over the next few weeks, you’ll see a series of guest columns that are a little different than our usual offering. As promised, we solicited and received commitments (not predictions) from journalism leaders. We’re excited to publish these thoughts and promises made by our fellow leaders, allies, and rebels — of all colors.
As we solicited these columns, we realized something: We’re asking people to publicly commit to creating change in 2022. But asking others for a commitment is nothing if you can’t put forth some of your own. As we thought over what we were seeking from the leaders we received commitments from, we realized we have our own commitments and promises to you.
We will always listen first.
We created Sincerely, Leaders of Color because we felt there were so many people speaking that it was hard to know where to turn if you want to listen. We wanted to create a space for those with something to say about how journalism can be more inclusive, but also for people who want to learn, participate, and give their support. We commit to continue to be open to your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for how SLOC can grow.
Emma and I both will continue to offer coaching times to hear from industry folks, especially emerging leaders, about their concerns. I will also create resources and publish them through the Reynolds Journalism Institute and my newsletter, The Middles. We will continue to read comments through our suggestion box (Yes, we do read every single one!), and via the DEI Coalition Slack. We’re keeping these lines of communication open and will assess their value next year.
Our thoughts will never be without practice.
One of our greatest fears is to be people who cannot walk their talk. Keeping our advice practical is one way of doing this, but we also want to keep practicing what we preach. Our thoughts and ideas, published here, will always be grown from work we’ve done on teams we worked with, or with ourselves.
There are plenty of places for hope and theorizing on where our industry has to go to be a truly inclusive place, but our commitment is to keeping SLOC rooted in the present and what needs to be done now to make the future brighter.
We will continue to grow SLOC’s resource library while also growing our business.
What is the end goal for us? Where do we want this space to be in five years? When we were planning for 2022 and beyond, we were asked that question often.
As our column grew from our conversations, our dream for whatever “this” could be grew too. We’re honored to be among the very few journalists of color being compensated for our work in this area — work that often goes unpaid or unseen.
As much as a commitment to ourselves as to this community, we will continue releasing sources and tipsheets to the journalism community, while making sure we (and others) get recognized and paid for this work. We’ll do this by publishing these biweekly columns on Source, through Kim’s work at RJI, but also through live training and coaching. In 2021, we successfully held the first-ever SLOC Live at RTDNA in Denver. We are also creating a training module for the Women in Journalism workshop in April. We’d love to work with you and your team on creating a more equitable work culture, where journalists from all backgrounds can thrive.
Over time, we’d like to collect all of these resources in a single place, accessible to the community. We’re still thinking over how that might actually happen and what that will look like. Beyond that, we’re remaining open to the opportunities presented to us, both as a team and individually.
We would never be able to make these commitments to you without the endless encouragement of our financial and emotional supporters. Thank you to the whole community for giving us a place to be able to publicly commit to our ideas.
P. Kim Bui
Emma Carew Grovum
Leaders of Color
P. Kim Bui is the director of product and audience innovation at the Arizona Republic. She’s focused her career on leading real-time news initiatives and creating storytelling forms for digital, print and broadcast companies catering to local, national and global audiences. Prior, she was editor-at-large for NowThis News, focusing on original, social reporting and breaking news. She was also deputy managing editor for reported.ly, a digital media startup specializing in social journalism. She’s been a speaker, trainer and teacher on leadership and digital journalism at universities, conferences and gatherings worldwide. She writes a newsletter for emerging leaders and managers, The Middles: themiddl.es
Emma Carew Grovum is a journalist and technologist in New York City. As the founder of Kimbap Media, she coaches and consults with newsrooms on key strategy areas including leadership, product thinking, and diversity/equity/inclusion.