Encourage station management to invest time and financial resources in training. Consider options that present the best return on investment. This can include having managers and/or staffers participate in onsite training programs, sending managers and/or staffers to industry-sponsored training programs or hiring professional trainers for onsite programs. It can be most cost effective to train managers or staffers who can then conduct on-site training for colleagues, but make sure they have the skill to teach others.
Develop clear, concise guidelines about staff participation in groups where membership might present a perceived conflict of interest. Journalists are members of the communities where they work and often have social, religious, civic and other affiliations. While this is to be expected, journalists always represent their profession and the stations where they work. Journalists who are members of organizations should freely disclose those affiliations. An annual review of any such guidelines will help ensure they reflect current station, industry and community standards.
Communicate to station leadership and all station employees the importance of covering race and ethnicity with depth, understanding, and with diverse voices.
Develop company-wide strategies and policies for responding to discussions on social media regarding controversial subjects, especially regarding race. Determine whether and how your company will engage and respond. If your websites and social media accounts permit comments from the community, determine whether racist and other offensive comments are removed or left up.
Encourage station management to obtain demographic makeup via DMA and census data so that those making editorial decisions have a clear understanding of the ever-changing demographic makeup of their specific communities. You cannot reflect the community of you do not understand the composition of your community.
Encourage station management to identify available reserves and resources and determine how they can be quickly mobilized in the event of a crisis or an incident that has the potential to inflame tensions within an identifiable community.
Ensure that employees are ready to cover race within stories because through regular engagement and training on the best ways to discuss and report on race within their communities. Hold regular discussions, training sessions, seminars and workshops to provide opportunities for conversations about race and to build a greater understanding of different racial viewpoints within communities.
To the extent possible, ensure that employees who make editorial decisions are reflective of the community. This is not necessarily a question of numbers, but of who has a voice and is heard by leadership.
Include in key performance indicators and/or objectives for general managers incentives for building a workforce that accurately reflects community demographics.