Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Newsrooms around the U.S. are adding dozens of positions that involve covering race and social justice. They're also publishing statistics about their own staffs for the first time, in an effort to better address their decades-long shortcomings around diversity and inclusion. 

Why it matters: A national awakening surrounding systemic racism in America ahead of an historic election is awakening newsrooms to the fact that they can't adequately cover the current state of affairs if their editorial teams don't reflect the changing dynamics of their readership and the nation. 

Driving the news: Gannett, the parent company to USA Today — the largest newspaper in the U.S. by circulation — and hundreds of local newsrooms, posted an op-ed from its publisher on Thursday stating that for the first time in its history, the company would publicly share data on the gender, racial and ethnic diversity of its network of newsrooms. 

  • Gannett also announced the creation of 60 jobs to expand coverage of inequities in the U.S., with about one-third of the roles being new hires and the rest reassignments.
  • "These new hires and jobs serve to underscore our commitment to diverse staffing and news coverage at USA TODAY and our local newsrooms. And it’s a commitment that starts at the top," wrote Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president of the USA Today network and publisher of USA Today newspaper.

The big picture: Newsrooms across the country are adding more positions to cover race. Many are changing the way their style guides reflect terms about race and ethnicity.

  • The Washington Post and the New York Times announced company-wide diversity initiatives in June, including the addition of dozens of new positions to cover race.
  • CBS News and CNN both launched initiatives to cover race and culture this summer.

Yes, but: Some news companies are facing backlash from employees for not addressing diversity issues quickly or adequately enough.

What's next: Newsrooms are setting staff goals to hold themselves accountable to their efforts. 

  • USA Today said Thursday that its goal is "parity with our communities" by 2025. 
  • NBCUniversal's News Group set an objective of having a 50% diverse workforce this July.

Go deeper: Newsrooms add new positions to fortify coverage on race

Go deeper

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Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 30,873,714 — Total deaths: 958,383— Total recoveries: 21,103,559Map.
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Biden to Senate GOP after RBG passing: "Please follow your conscience"

Joe Biden made a direct appeal to Senate Republicans in a speech addressing the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, urging them to "cool the flames that have been engulfing our country" by waiting to confirm her replacement until after the election.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said soon after the news of Ginsburg's death that President Trump's nominee would get a vote on the Senate floor.