Why is this information being collected?
There is widespread consensus around the need for Canadian media to reflect the society it serves. But addressing representation, or lack thereof, in the industry requires that we measure the level of diversity in newsrooms across Canada.
In the U.S., the News Leaders Association (NLA) has conducted an annual national diversity survey since 1978. It is past time for Canada to do the same.
How did this survey come together?
The CAJ spent three years consulting with survey design experts, international partners that conduct media diversity surveys in their countries, and Canadian organizations and individuals in Canada that have studied the diversity of our country’s media ecosystem. The NLA, which has conducted a survey in the U.S. since 1978, provided invaluable support in designing this survey.
This annual survey is designed to be easy to fill out. It asks for information that most Canadian media organizations have already collected or that they typically collect during hiring. The information is also easy to collect if it’s not already available.
What did the 2021 survey find?
Last year’s survey marked Canada’s first representative survey of diversity in media. More than 200 newsrooms responded with data for 3,873 journalists.
The impact of the survey findings were felt industry-wide and shed light on the reality that many Canadian newsrooms do not reflect the communities they serve. We learned that half of all newsrooms surveyed employ exclusively white journalists; that more than 8 in 10 newsroom supervisor roles go to white journalists, and that while, overall, women outnumber men in newsrooms, they are largely overrepresented in part-time and internship roles.
We also learned that 8 in 10 outlets have no visible minority or Indigenous journalists in a top-three leadership position.
This year we are hoping to have even more newsrooms commit to participating
What other organizations are working with the CAJ on this survey?
This survey is made possible through the support of numerous generous partners including the News Leaders Association and the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec. The Canadian Race Relations Foundation has generously provided three years of funding to strengthen the administration of the survey; this includes hiring a part-time diversity survey officer who will help increase the number of newsrooms participating. Qlik provided data analysis and visualizations that made the statistics in the 2021 report possible as well as the interactive website.
How is this year’s survey different?
For the most part, the 2022 survey is the same as last year. A few small additions and changes have been made. For example, there are supplementary ‘housekeeping’ questions that ask for the total number of staff for the outlet(s) included in the data as well as the target audience. We have also added a question about the gender of supervisors in a top-three leadership role, and an additional field to share any diversity data that newsrooms may collect in other diversity categories (eg. LGBTQ+ identity, disability, language, religion, etc.)
Why is data on class, religion, LGBTQ+ identity, disability and languages spoken being requested in this year’s survey?
The 2021 survey included some short answer questions where newsrooms could share more about their hiring practices and the type of demographic data they collect. While 209 newsrooms collected data on the race and gender of their staff, only one newsroom said they collect data on LGBTQ+ identity, two said they collect disability data, one said they collect religion data and one said they collect data on languages spoken.
The 2021 survey relied on newsrooms to volunteer whether or not they disclose this type of data in response to an open-ended question. The 2022 survey asks newsrooms to disclose whether they collect this data for each of these categories and to share any data they have collected.
Who is being sent this survey?
The survey is being sent to the editor-in-chief, or their equivalent, at radio, television, digital, and print outlets across the country. For transparency, a PDF copy of the survey text is publicly available. If you are a newsroom leader that did not receive an editable survey copy, please contact email@example.com and we will send you one.
How did the CAJ decide which categories to use for the questions on race and gender?
The categories are adapted from a Statistics Canada model. This model is used by many newsrooms which collect data on the race and gender of their employees when hiring.
We have diverged from the Statistics Canada model in instances where the categories are not only incorrect but could generate misleading results. For example, Statistics Canada doesn’t offer “non-binary” as a potential gender category, instead only offering the options “man” and woman”. There are two other changes: 1) The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network advised that the use of the term Aboriginal as categorized by Statistics Canada is outdated and should be changed to Inuit, Metis, First Nations (status or non-status); 2) The Canadian Association of Black Journalists asked that “Haitian” be flagged as an example in the “Black” category not the “Latin” category and that “South and Central American” be changed to “Afro-Latino”.
When are responses due?
As an organization representing working journalists the CAJ knows how busy media workers are. That’s why we’re giving newsroom leaders over three months to respond. The CAJ is asking newsrooms to send in responses by Friday June 24, 2022.
Which data will be made public?
The numbers at the newsroom level will be made public for all outlets that have six or more full-time employees. For example, the number of women on staff compared with the number of men on staff will be disclosed. For outlets with fewer than six full-time employees, a breakdown at the newsroom level will not be disclosed, but data from these outlets will be included in the aggregate results.
Short answer questions will only be disclosed in aggregate, anonymized form for all outlets, regardless of employee number. Here’s an example of how the data was presented for the 2021 survey which we intend to replicate for this year’s results: Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey.
Who will have access to the non-public data?
Only CAJ staff and select board members will have access to the non-public data. It will not be made public under any circumstances.
Does collecting this data contravene human rights laws?
No. Many newsrooms already collect this data. For those that do not, the Canadian Human Rights Act states that it is not a discriminatory practice to collect information relating to a prohibited ground of discrimination so long as the information is being collected to combat discrimination.
Who can I contact to ask a question that’s not listed here?
If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.