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Today, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) joined a coalition of organizations that includes the Asian American Journalists Association, the Indigenous Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Maynard Institute, the Online News Association, and OpenNews in sending a joint open letter to Press Forward that asks funders to ensure equitable distribution of resources so underrepresented voices in local news are heard and supported.
Press Forward is a group of foundation leaders and heads of philanthropic organizations that have formed an initiative to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to support local news.
“We are pleased to see that the funding priorities of the Press Forward initiative include ‘improving diversity of experience and thought.’ As this initiative unfolds and decisions are made about where support is directed, we want to be clear: Racial and ethnic diversity, equity and belonging must be among the pillars of its foundation. An equitable distribution of resources and opportunities ensures that underrepresented voices are heard and elevated by journalists, leaders and publishers who know them best,” the letter reads.
The letter also encourages Press Forward to:
- Align funding priorities with the demographic shifts occurring across our nation by investing in trusted leaders, publishers, journalists, and organizations serving communities of color.
- Consider as foundational criteria for all newsrooms that their organizations, including leadership, reflect the communities they serve
- Break the cycle of disinvestment and the disproportionate investment in white leaders and organizations with under-representation of people of color.