Sincerely, Leaders of Color: We’d love to hear from you
We’re so proud of what we’ve shared so far. We want to know what’s helped you the most and what you need next
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.
A mentor of mine says you can’t grow what you aren’t measuring and you can’t measure what you aren’t tracking.
It’s good advice, and it’s a strong reminder that in all the things we build, we should be aware of performance and invite feedback.
For us at SLOC, we’ve spent the summer reflecting on our goals, mission, and results.
28 columns. 16 guest authors. Seven of those pieces were from leaders committing to specific change in 2022. We’ve tackled questions like:
- How can I combat my company’s negative reputation in recruiting new candidates?
- What does imposter syndrome look like among journalists of color?
- How do I approach someone about a harmful or hurtful phrase or word they used at work?
We’re immensely proud of what we’ve been able to achieve. We’re proud that every guest author we’ve worked with has been offered compensation. We’re blown away by the fact that several of these incredible folks immediately offered to donate their fees to organizations like the Native American Journalists Association or encouraged us to re-invest it in SLOC somehow.
In 2021, we hosted our first iteration of Sincerely, Leaders of Color: LIVE!, a workshop for conference attendees who wanted to have an open, honest discussion about DEIB in news organizations. We filled a packed room in Denver and took questions for more than an hour. In 2023, pandemic permitting, we’d love to do more of that.
The other ways the SLOC brand may evolve depend on two things:
First, whether we’re useful and impactful to our intended audience. To measure this, we’re opening an audience survey today. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to give us some feedback: Tell us what’s working, what you would like to see more of or done differently, etc. We promise to read and consider every response and comment.
The answers you give us will help us learn how we (Team SLOC) can best serve you (our beloved readers and subscribers). You can access the survey here. We’ll keep it open through Labor Day weekend, and it should only take a few minutes of your time.
Not much of a survey taker, but still want to tell us what you think? We’re also taking feedback, suggestions, and questions at email@example.com.
Second, we’re about to seek our second round of funding. If you run a project or work at an organization that wants to improve diversity in the media or transform the experience of journalists of color, we’d love to chat.
- What else do you need to create change in your news organization?
- How can we deepen our engagement with you, our audience, beyond the column and newsletter?
- What is missing from this space that would empower you to step up?
We hope Sincerely, Leaders of Color has helped you in one way or another over the past year. Whether it helped you feel seen or validated, or helped you open a tough discussion at work, we’re grateful to be working alongside you in this very important space.
As a recession looms and budgets tighten, we worry that DEIB training and investment will be one of the first items on the chopping block, so-called “Reckoning” be damned. Possible “last in, first out” staffing cuts will disproportionately affect all the journalists of color who were hired during the post-Reckoning wave. Additionally, if wages stagnate and careers stall, the burden will fall unfairly on those from historically marginalized backgrounds.
Considering all that, we’re gearing up for the fights ahead and we want to be there in the trenches with you.
Finally, we want to acknowledge and introduce a new team member: Ryan Pitts! Previously, copy editing, art, and web production support for SLOC was coming from our good friend and colleague Sisi Wei, who has started her next adventure. Ryan is a longtime member of the OpenNews and Source team, a big supporter of our work, and we are thrilled to have his hands in the mix as we work to continue bringing SLOC to the folks who want and need it most. Welcome, Ryan!
We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled columns and guest authors next month. In the meantime, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to help us get stronger, faster, and better, either by filling out our audience survey or by dropping us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Emma Carew Grovum and P. Kim Bui
Leaders of Color
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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.