AAN released the results of its 2015 Diversity and Demographics Survey to its members during the association’s annual convention in Salt Lake City in July, and is now making the data available to the public.
Thirty-seven AAN member publications completed the survey, sharing information on staff demographics, readership, and diversity in coverage. The survey also asked about each paper’s internal diversity efforts and challenges, and solicited input on how AAN as an organization can assist in those efforts.
The survey was led by Jimmy Boegle, founding editor/publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent, who is the head of AANâ€™s Diversity Advisory Committee.
The survey focused on three diversity components: people of color, members of the LGBT community, and women.
“I think the data is very telling: AAN papers are doing quite well at diversifying when it comes to women and LGBT people. However, when it comes to hiring and retaining people of color, we are doing no better than we were three years ago, when we did the survey the last time,” said Boegle. “I’m very happy that the AAN office recognized the importance of redoing the survey and supported the Diversity Advisory Committee in doing it. It’s a lot of work.”
Boegle also led the survey in 2011-2012, which was the first time AAN asked its members about staff demographics.
“We all know that the media industry as a whole has a diversity problem, but for us, this is at the heart of who we are as alts,” said AAN Executive Director Tiffany Shackelford. “A diverse staff is essential in order to tell the stories of those outside the power structure. There’s no doubt we have a lot of work to do, but this survey is an important step which shows us exactly where we need to improve.”