Building an Inclusive Public Media System: A Statement from PMJA

Jun 23, 2020

We, the board and staff of PMJA, recognize that public media has a racism problem. For too long, Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other people of color have been grossly under-represented in the public radio system, especially in roles of leadership. PMJA intends to do our part to make true equity and inclusion a reality instead of an aspiration.

To that end, we recognize the following:

 

  • Too often public radio is a largely white space, both in terms of sources in our stories and the journalists in our newsrooms.  White should not be the default; it should not define norms.

  • We in public media need to be intentional about creating a supportive environment where Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other people of color on staff thrive.

  • We as individuals and as stations need to listen.

  • We need to elevate and support Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other leaders of color in the system.

 

We can and must do better by:

 

  • Challenging our existing values, beliefs, and assumptions in order to make positive changes

  • Facilitating dialogue that allows stations and people to listen in a safe and inclusive environment and work toward implementing programs and changes based on that dialogue.  We recognize the conversations may be uncomfortable, but they are necessary for us to have an environment that values everyone equally. 

  • Building PMJA into a hub, along with other partners, so that stations have tools to hire more Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other journalists of color in permanent, well-paid positions 

  • Helping cultivate and elevate more Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other leaders of color at stations

  • Promoting strong allyship in public media

  • Creating forums in which to safely share experiences and discuss how to do a better job individually and as a whole

 

In order to reach these goals PMJA shall:

 

  • Become a resource and hub for inclusive and equitable hiring in public media. We will develop resources for recruiting and onboarding for stations and Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other journalists of color to access.

  • Develop partnerships and form a working group dedicated to elevating more Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other leaders of color in public media.

  • Give Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other journalists of color a platform to tell their stories under the banner of PMJA, using digital resources and organizational events.

 

We, the board and staff of PMJA, believe it is not the job of one person or one group alone to do this important work. We know this work is difficult. We welcome the opportunity to be part of the solution and a resource for public media navigating toward equity in our newsrooms as well as in our work. 

 

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