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ACBJ to address diversity within the company

July 9, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Whit Shaw, the chief executive officer of American City Business Journals, wrote about how the parent company of 43 business journals will address diversity within the company.

Shaw writes, “We are reviewing recruiting and hiring practices across the entire company. These reviews will lead to concrete action steps aimed at significantly improving the racial diversity of ACBJ.

“These are additional steps ACBJ has taken or will:

“1. We’re expanding our minority internships in business reporting from a summer-only program to year-round. In each of the six years the program has been in place, interns have been offered full-time jobs by the business journals and other media companies. More undoubtedly will be hired, especially as our program expands in length and number of participants.

“2. We’re adding a diversity scholarship to our Ray Shaw Memorial Scholarship program, which benefits children of ACBJ employees. This scholarship, like others in the program, will be administered by an independent third party, which is responsible for selecting winners. Details are currently being reviewed.

“3. We’ve formed working groups of ACBJ editors and reporters to focus on:

  • Diversity in our coverage of local businesses and businesspeople.
  • Diversity among panelists and speakers at business journal events.
  • Diversity among honorees recognized by the business journals, such as “40 Under 40” and similar programs.
  • Improving diversity in our newsrooms, including addressing shortcomings in hiring, career opportunities and professional development.
  • Expanding existing relationships with historically Black colleges and universities and professional associations such as the National Association of Black Journalists.
  • Creating a diversity, equity and inclusion style book for our reporters and editors to guide them in the use of consistent and precise language.
  • Similar groups in sales and other departments will be formed as well.

“4. We’ve committed to expanding current business journal programs that recognize and honor companies and individuals working to further diversity, equity and inclusion.

“5. We’ve committed to connecting businesspeople in all business journal markets, especially owners and C-suite executives, for additional conversations on race and racism.

“6. We’ve initiated conversations with experts on race and racism with the goal of introducing a training program in ACBJ and then making it available to others.

“7. We’ve supported the contributions made by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, named for the founder of our parent company, to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative.

“We pledge to do more and will update our communities as that happens.”

Read more here.

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