Bloomberg expands DE&I coverage with dedicated equality vertical

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Bloomberg is expanding its business coverage of race, gender, diversity, and fairness within governments, companies, and societies with a new vertical called Equality — and a dedicated hub on its website.

In addition to serving as a focal point for Bloomberg’s broader equality coverage, the new vertical will feature original journalism, such as data-based projects tracking the race and gender breakdown of companies’ employees as well as racial and ethnic disparities in vaccine distribution across the U.S., according to Jacqueline Simmons, senior executive editor for the Americas at Bloomberg News. Cisco is among Bloomberg Equality’s launch partners with an ad spend that spans its first year. Bloomberg did not share the financial details of their agreement.

Bloomberg Equality will publish quarterly briefings, revamp and continue its weekly newsletter and populate special sections in the Businessweek magazine. It will also add a new season to its “Pay Check” podcast hosted by Simmons and contribute coverage and programming across Bloomberg products, including Bloomberg TV and Quicktake. That’s already included a four-part video series on Quicktake called “Then This Happened,” exploring how policy choices have affected people at historical moments.

Added to the site May 4, the Bloomberg Equality hub — which is featured on Bloomberg.com’s homepage and is being updated daily — has a section for broadcast clips of business and finance executives that are women or come from diverse backgrounds, called New Voices, which is part of a company-wide newsroom initiative to prioritize more sources spanning genders and ethnicities.

a company wide initiative to prioritize non-white, male sources, Bloomberg Equality will put an emphasis on talking to a range of experts spanning genders and ethnicities.

The global conversation around equality “radically transformed this past year,” according to Anne Kawalerski, global chief marketing officer at Bloomberg Media. It was largely focused on gender and issues of equal pay and equal rights. But after the events of last summer, including the death of George Floyd and the pandemic, the conversation “shifted, grew and broadened” to span racial equity as well. “Seeing this major shift happen in the world, it felt like an imperative to step it up from a commercial and editorial standpoint,” Kawalerski said.

As for Bloomberg’s own DE&I initiatives, the company told Digiday that the senior management team for editorial and research has gender balance: the chief content officer, senior executive editor leading Americas coverage, two senior executive editors leading Asia coverage, and the head of Bloomberg Economics are women. About half of Bloomberg’s new hires in 2020 were racially and ethnically diverse, according to the company. The company did not provide a more detailed breakdown of its staff by race and gender.

Equality is the latest content vertical from Bloomberg. Last year the publisher launched Bloomberg Green, which focuses on climate change, and Bloomberg CityLab, which focuses on cities, adding to existing verticals like Prognosis, which was created in June 2018 to organize its health care coverage. Bloomberg’s verticals can have “a lot of crossover” for coverage, Simmons said. Bloomberg Green and Bloomberg Equality could team up on a project around climate justice, for example. Topics under Bloomberg Equality now touch nearly every company and government Bloomberg covers, so journalists are being “reprogrammed” to incorporate equality coverage into their day-to-day beat reporting, said Simmons.

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In 2020, Bloomberg formed the Equality Task Force, a group of 20 editors and reporters across beats and Bloomberg products to report on this topic. Bloomberg Equality will expand that coverage to every Bloomberg platform, including the Bloomberg Terminal and print, digital, social, video, streaming TV, broadcast, audio and events. Executive editor Rakshita Saluja oversees the task force and leads Bloomberg Equality editorial.

Bloomberg is selling three tiers of sponsorship packages to advertisers for Bloomberg Equality: supporting, presenting and premiere. The company did not reveal pricing for these packages, but said digital advertisers included Tiffany, SHRM, Bank of America, TPG, P&G, HPE and Google.

Premiere sponsors get access to Bloomberg’s Equality Council, a network of Equality’s editorial team and industry experts. These advertisers can also sponsor the New Voices module on Bloomberg Equality. Premiere sponsorships span a full year, with opportunities for shorter periods of sponsorship as well, according to the company.

Bloomberg is developing ways for premiere and presenting sponsors to take advantage of collaborations between different editorial verticals. For example, Bloomberg Equality editors could work with Bloomberg Technology editors to create content focused on the intersection of those two verticals, and a sponsor would advertise against that content. Supporting sponsors will be able to advertise against Bloomberg Equality’s content on streaming TV, podcasts, digital, print, TV, radio and social.

“We are seeing more and more companies committed to making diversity, equity and inclusion part of everything they do — not just how they think internally but how they show up in front of their consumers,” said Angelique Gillmer, svp, client solutions at media agency Essence. Bloomberg Equality could provide “a place to show up in front of consumers in really meaningful ways” for a brand, she added.

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