Apr 1, 2021 - Business

Denver media's internal reckoning with race

Illustration of a stack of newspapers, with some of them tinted different colors.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Denver media outlets continue to confront a lack of diversity within their newsrooms, as reporters from marginalized backgrounds increasingly push for change.

Why it matters: Only 23% of newsroom employees identify as people of color, a 2018 analysis from the Pew Research Center found.

  • That’s hardly representative of the estimated 40% of the country’s population who identify as racial and ethnic minorities, according to another Pew analysis.

Driving the news: A union of Denver Post employees wrote to readers Wednesday to acknowledge the paper’s role in perpetuating structural racism and to commit to diversifying the newsroom’s roster to better represent the many different communities that call Denver home.

  • The union was forced to publish the letter on its own platform because Alden Global Capital — the paper’s hedge fund owner — allegedly refused to allow it to be published.
  • Colorado Public Radio recently hired the Equity Project to lead trainings in its newsroom and created an equity task force.

By the numbers: The Post union reports that, as of August 2020, 17% of its non-management team identified as people of color.

  • At Axios, 31% of the content team is represented by people of color. Our editorial leadership is 60% women and 30% BIPOC.

The backdrop: Earlier this week, Axios reported that a local Latina journalist called out her former employer, 9News, for alleged discrimination.

  • The incident has drawn the attention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, which is requesting a meeting with TEGNA, the parent company of 9News, and a diversity and inclusion report.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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