CAJ releases national Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey results

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The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is pleased to release the findings of its inaugural Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey.

The CAJ collected data on 3,873 journalists from 209 newsrooms across radio, television, digital and print media in Canada, making it the most filled out diversity survey in Canadian media history. The CAJ worked with data analytics experts at Qlik to develop an interactive website to visualize the results.

“For the first time, we are able to shed light—with hard data—on who is working in Canadian newsrooms,” said CAJ president Brent Jolly. “The CAJ is extremely grateful to the media outlets who filled out the survey, making it the most comprehensive diversity survey in Canadian media history.”

A 17-page report detailing national results, methodology, data limitations, and a full list of who participated can be found here.

The survey found that white journalists tend to hold more senior and stable jobs. White journalists hold 81.9 per cent of supervisor roles and 79.6 per cent of top three leadership positions.

Approximately 90 per cent of outlets that participated have no Latin, Middle Eastern or Mixed Race journalists on staff. About 80 per cent have no Black or Indigenous journalists.

“The typical Canadian newsroom is not representative of the Canadian population,” said CAJ chair and survey lead Zane Schwartz. “Almost half of all Canadian newsrooms exclusively employ white journalists. Where journalists of colour and Indigenous journalists are on staff, they tend to work in a handful of very large newsrooms.”

Pennsylvania-based data analytics firm Qlik provided critical support for this project, including data analysis and visualizations of survey results, allowing users to interact with newsroom survey results based on variables such as race, gender and job role.

“Taking clear and positive action on complex problems – whether they are in business or society – is driven in large part by how well the audiences being affected understand the data behind the issue,” said Chuck Bannon, Director of Demo Team at Qlik. “We’re proud to be partnering with CAJ to help showcase the data surrounding this important conversation.”

The survey represents the most comprehensive data available to date on the gender and racial breakdown of Canada’s newsrooms and marks the beginning of what will be an annual, industry-wide study.

Key findings from the survey*

  • In total, the survey collected data on 3,873 journalists working in 209 newsrooms.
  • 52.7 per cent of all newsroom staff identify as women compared to 46.7 per cent who identify as men and 0.7 per cent that identify as non-binary.
  • Of the journalists where race data is known, 74.9 per cent identify as white compared to 18.6 per cent who identify as a visible minority, and 6.4 per cent who identify as Indigenous.
  • About nine in 10 newsrooms have no Latin, Middle Eastern or Mixed Race journalists on staff.
  • About eight in 10 newsrooms have no Black or Indigenous journalists on staff.
  • 81.9 per cent of supervisors identify as white, compared to 1.4 per cent who identify as Black, 8.3 per cent who identify as Asian, and 4.2 per cent who identify as Indigenous.
  • 79.6 per cent of outlets report having no visible minorities or Indigenous journalists in one of the top three leadership roles in their newsroom.
  • Black and Middle Eastern journalists are twice as likely to work part-time jobs as full-time jobs.
  • Twenty-seven per cent of all interns identify as Asian, compared to 9.1 per cent of full-time journalists.
  • The racial identity of 25 per cent of journalists included in this survey is unknown by their newsroom managers.

*Please note that percentages have been rounded to the nearest tenth, which means some totals may not equal 100 per cent.