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TORONTO, ONT., Nov 21, 2023 – The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is pleased to release the findings of its third annual national Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey.
For this year’s voluntary survey, the CAJ collected data on 6,035 journalists from 273 newsrooms across radio, television, digital and print media in Canada. This is an increase in participation from 5,012 journalists at 242 newsrooms in the 2022 survey. Participation in this year’s survey is the highest it has ever been, making this the most comprehensive data set on the gender and racial breakdown of Canadian newsrooms ever published.
This year’s survey represents the most comprehensive data set on the gender and racial breakdown of Canadian newsrooms. In total, the CAJ sent invitations to 775+ newsrooms to complete the survey.
“The continued work by the CAJ to gather important data on the composition of Canadian newsrooms provides the public with an invaluable snapshot into the ongoing effort to implement critical diversity, equity, and inclusion policies across our industry,” said Brent Jolly, president of the CAJ.
“While we recognize the pace of progress on systemic changes are incremental, this year’s report identifies some year-over-year trends that highlight the need for careful examination and additional conversation.”
For example, data collected as part of this year’s survey found that from 2021 to 2023 the proportion of Asian journalists working in Canadian newsrooms has declined. Asian journalists started out at 10 per cent in 2021, then in 2022 dropping to 7.7 per cent and now at 7.4 per cent in 2023.
“This year’s data shows that almost 7 out of 10 top supervisors are white and that Black journalists, women and non-binary people are all more likely to hold junior and more precarious roles,” said CAJ national chair and survey lead Zane Schwartz. “There’s a lot of work to be done to get the Canadian journalism industry to be more reflective of the communities it serves.”
White journalists hold 84 per cent of supervisor roles and 82.5 per cent of the top three leadership positions in newsrooms. In 2022, 77 per cent of newsrooms employed no Indigenous or visible minority journalists in the top three roles. In 2023, about 70 per cent employed no Indigenous or visible minority journalists in the top three roles.
Over half of the outlets that participated have no Latin, Middle Eastern, Mixed Race, Black or Indigenous journalists on staff. Where Indigenous and visible minority journalists are hired, they tend to be concentrated in a handful of large newsrooms.
A comprehensive report detailing the national results, methodology, year-over-year comparisons, data limitations and a full list of who participated can be found on the CAJ website.
As was the case in 2021 and 2022, Pennsylvania-based data and analytics firm Qlik continued to play an integral role in this project. They provided the CAJ with data analysis and visualizations of survey results, allowing users to interact with newsroom survey results based on things like race, gender and job role.
“We remain committed to illuminating the truth in data to spark meaningful change. By partnering with CAJ, Qlik is helping to paint a clearer picture of diversity in Canadian media,” said Keith Parker, Senior Director, Global Corporate and Executive Communications at Qlik. “Supporting decision-makers to create a more inclusive future. Transparency through data is the first step towards the certainty and ambition that shape our collective progress.”
For further information: Brent Jolly, president, Canadian Association of Journalists, (289) 387-3179, firstname.lastname@example.org; Zane Schwartz, national chair and survey lead, Canadian Association of Journalists, email@example.com, (604) 396-4699.