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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Washington Post and the New York Times, two of the biggest newsrooms in the U.S., are pushing company-wide diversity initiatives and adding dozens of new positions to cover how race influences issues from national security to health.

Why it matters: The hirings come as the media industry reckons with how to cover race. Top editors across multiple newsrooms have stepped down following actions, words or handlings of covering race and Black Lives Matter protests in their newsrooms. Many have vouched to do more to address issues of systemic racism internally.

Catch up quick: The Washington Post is adding over 12 newsroom positions to cover race and racial discrimination through different beats, including a writer to cover race and identity in America, a photojournalist with experience covering race, and a national security reporter to dig into far-right and white nationalist groups.

  • The New York Times on Thursday emailed staff saying it has plans to create "a more modern news organization that benefits from the wisdom of a larger and far more diverse staff."
  • Senior NYT executives Amber Guild, Anand Venkatesan and Carolyn Ryan will lead the company's efforts on equitable hiring, placing more people of color in leadership roles, and holding managers accountable for progress, Times leadership wrote to staff on Thursday.
  • Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubac wrote to staff last week that she requested a "company-wide systematic overhaul of how we hire, develop and retain a globally diverse workforce," after Refinery29 editor Christene Barberich resigned following staff descriptions of discrimination within the company.

The big picture: Over three weeks of Black Lives Matter protests of Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. have forced dozens of media companies to reckon with their own newsroom diversity and coverage on race.

Be smart: Newsroom employees are more likely to be white and male than U.S. workers overall, according to data from Pew Research Center.

  • More than three-quarters (77%) of newsroom employees are non-Hispanic whites, according to the analysis of 2012-2016 American Community Survey data cited by Pew. Those employees include reporters, editors, photographers and videographers in the newspaper, broadcasting and internet publishing industries.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

New interactive tool shows Biden's mail voting danger

Data: SurveyMonkey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Voters who disapprove of President Trump most strongly are by far the most likely to vote by mail in the presidential election, according to an Axios analysis of exclusive data from SurveyMonkey and Tableau.

Why it matters: The new data shows just how strongly the mail-in vote is likely to favor Joe Biden — with potentially enormous implications in the swing states due to the greater risk of rejection with mail ballots.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.