Media Moves

NY Times econ reporter: 42 percent of my sources in 2019 were women

January 2, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Ben Casselman

New York Times economics reporter Ben Casselman kept track of his sources in 2019 and reports that 42 percent of them were women.

Fifteen percent of his sources were minorities.

Focusing specifically on people quoted as experts such as economists, political scientists, and industry Casselman reported that 44 percent were women and 11 percent were people of color.

Among people he quoted as examples or anecdotes such as survey respondents and business owners, 40 percent were women and 25 percent were people of color.

“This is the first year I’ve tracked this systematically, so I can’t compare to prior years,” he wrote on Twitter. “But I suspect the act of tracking this led to more diversity in my source list, which was part of the goal.”

Casselman also discovered that his sources were significantly more diverse in stories that weren’t written on deadline. That suggests that he’s doing a good job searching out sources when he has time, but that under deadline pressure, he falls back on a core group of white men.

“This exercise forced me really to think about whom I was calling and to seek out new voices,” he wrote on Twitter. “Even when I ended up quoting a white guy, it was often a different (and more appropriate) white guy than the ones I’d called in the past.”

Read more here.

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