Diversity Plan

MDJ Diversity Plan

Download MDJ Diversity Plan

MDJ Diversity Plan Progress Report 

MAY 2020

The School of Media and Journalism (MDJ) at Kent State University continues its commitment to diversity and inclusion as evident by the roles of the Diversity and Globalization Committee (DGC) and the faculty and staff of MDJ in creating, supporting and executing strategic initiatives within the school. In addition, MDJ’s collaboration with the CCI Diversity Team and the CCI’s Office of Diversity and Career Development and its director have helped support diversity programs and actions throughout the entire college.

A 2018 report from Pew Research indicates that

  • More than three-quarters (77%) of newsroom employees – those who work as reporters, editors, photographers and videographers in the newspaper, broadcasting and internet publishing industries – are non-Hispanic whites, according to the analysis of 2012-2016 American Community Survey data.
  • Newsroom employees are also more likely than workers overall to be male (61%), almost half (48%) of newsroom employees are non-Hispanic white men compared with about a third (34%) of workers overall.
  • The disparity in race and ethnicity exists across all age groups. Non-Hispanic whites account for about three-fourths (74%) of newsroom employees ages 18 to 49, and they represent 85% among those 50 and older. These shares are lower among workers overall.

Here in MDJ, we are dedicated to addressing these disparities in newsrooms and workplaces by actively promoting diversity and inclusion in our curriculum, scholarship, student support, and community engagement. Both inside and outside of the classroom, MDJ faculty and staff are working to create a learning environment that prioritizes the needs of underrepresented groups while preparing all of our students for success in a rapidly changing world.

The closing of the university’s in-person classes and events due to COVID-19 has created additional challenges, insofar as the faculty, staff and students have had to transition to an entirely online environment that often disproportionately affects underrepresented students or puts LGBTQ+ students in inhospitable environments. However, a 2020 report from Nieman Lab indicates a potential positive. Distributed newsrooms and workplaces make an organization more accessible to diverse talents, which can directly benefit reporting. As we look ahead to the 2020-2021 academic year, we are exploring options for hybrid and remote learning that will not only offer the greatest level of accessibility to our students, but also provide the opportunity to develop new strategies and initiatives to increase diversity and student success.