Publishers’ workforce diversity reports released this summer show steady improvement in newsroom diversity
Gannett, Insider and The Washington Post have released their annual (or, in Gannett’s case, biannual) reports on the diversity of their workforces, revealing very little — if any — change in overall employee diversity year over year.
Within their newsrooms, both Insider and The Washington Post did improve the diversity of their editorial staffs, though white employees still made up 62% and 63% of those newsrooms, respectively, in the first half of 2023.
Those companies join Condé Nast, Hearst, The New York Times, Vice Media Group and Vox Media, which released their workforce diversity reports earlier this year. See a running tracker of these reports here.
Two companies missed their usual cadence of publishing their workforce diversity reports before the summer: BuzzFeed and The Los Angeles Times.
In Insider’s editorial department, 35% of employees identified as BIPOC, up two percentage points from 2022.
News and editorial diversity at The Washington Post also increased in 2023. The newsroom is now 63% white, down by three percentage points from last year. Editorial leadership is now 69% white, down from 73% in 2022.
Gannett didn’t break out its newsrooms in its workforce diversity report. USA Today, its biggest newsroom, hasn’t publicly released the data yet (last year, it was published on July 27).
Media companies that have previously reported their workforce diversity data in February and March 2023 also saw improvements in their newsrooms. Condé Nast’s editorial employees were 29% BIPOC in 2022, up one percentage point year over year. Vice Media Group’s U.S. news department was 63% white in 2022, down one percentage point year over year. The share of editorial employees who were white at Vox Media dropped significantly from 66% to 60%, from 2021 to 2022.
The New York Times’ news and opinion department, however, remained 66% white, the same as last year.
Despite improvements to publishers’ newsroom diversity, overall workforce diversity didn’t change much year over year.
Gannett’s overall workforce diversity remained the same since its last report was released on January 1, 2023, with 71% of its employees self-identifying as white as of July 1, 2023.
Employees at Insider — which doesn’t break out its data by race or ethnicity, but instead by employees who are white or “BIPOC” — are 36% BIPOC, also the same as last year. Insider released its report on August 14, based on workforce data from March 2023.
Overall, Washington Post employees are 54% white, down a percentage point year over year. The Washington Post’s latest data is from June 30, 2023.
Leadership diversity at Gannett also remained the same compared to January, at 83% white.
BIPOC representation in leadership positions at Insider improved by one percentage point year over year, to 28% BIPOC. Leadership at The Washington Post was 63% white, down one percentage point.
Digiday broke down diversity data on new hires at five other media companies in April, which showed four of those publishers hired a larger percentage of white people in 2022 compared to the previous year.
That wasn’t necessarily the case at Insider. While 45% of its new hires in its 2023 report were BIPOC (the same as in 2022), 52% of new hires identified as BIPOC in the editorial department, a seven percentage point increase compared to last year.
But in non-editorial roles, BIPOC new hires fell by one percentage point to 48%.
Insider included 113 new hires in its latest report, signaling a hiring slowdown from the 345 new hires in 2022 and 239 new hires in 2021.
Gannett and The Washington Post didn’t break out data on new hires.
While the racial and ethnic diversity at Gannett didn’t change in six months, its gender diversity improved. In July, 46% of Gannett’s employees self-identified as female, up one percentage point from January.
In March, 60% of Insider’s overall workforce identified as female, down one percentage point compared to last year. But unlike last year, Insider had 1% of its workforce identify as non-binary (up from 0.23% in 2022). Its editorial department is 65% female/non-binary, down one percentage point from 2022.
Overall, The Washington Post’s employees are 47% female, up two percentage points from last year. Looking specifically at its news and editorial department, 55% of the Post’s staffers are female, up from 53% in 2022.
As for publishers’ leadership teams, 43% of Gannett’s employees at the director-level and above were female in July 2023, up from 36% in January, a notable seven percentage point increase. Insider’s leadership is 54% female, down one percentage point from 2022. The Washington Post’s leadership is 49% female, the same as last year.
Both BuzzFeed and the L.A. Times have gone through restructurings and layoffs this year. BuzzFeed’s last report was published in January 2022, and The Los Angeles Times’ last report was released in February 2022.
A BuzzFeed spokesperson told Digiday the company’s report is coming out later this year but did not disclose a specific date.
The Los Angeles Times released a workforce diversity report on the newsroom internally on June 15, according to a spokesperson. (The National Association of Hispanic Journalists called for a meeting with L.A. Times management after it learned Latinos represented 26% of the 74 positions slated to be cut in June and Asian Americans represented 15%).
The spokesperson shared a portion of the company’s internal workforce diversity report with Digiday, which showed newsroom employees overall were 50% white. Last year, 57% of non-manager roles within the L.A. Times’s newsroom were white, while manager roles were 62% white. The newsroom is 21% Hispanic or Latino (in 2022, non-managers were 18% Hispanic or Latino and managers were 16% Hispanic or Latino).
More in Media
During the Digiday Publishing Summit, execs from companies including Condé Nast, Dotdash Meredith and Thomson Reuters assessed the industry’s readiness.
Publishing executives shared their honest and unfettered opinions on the rise of generative artificial intelligence technology and its impact on traffic, IP protections, content production and jobs at the Digiday Publishing Summit last week.
Here is A sampling of other AI-related news from last week.