Using Technology to Reflect Community Diversity: Sourcing and Coverage

Participants join in a demonstration of an innovative new tool for improving source diversity that in January won ONA’s 2020 Grand Prize for Innovation in Journalism Education.

To reflect the diversity of our communities accurately, we have to know who is being interviewed. Join in the demonstration of a new tool developed by the School of Journalism at Michigan State University that shows journalists and newsrooms, in real time and visually, the types of sources being interviewed compared with community demographics. The purpose of the tool is for professionals, newsrooms, students and educators to become more conscious of diversity in news judgment and source selection, with the ultimate goal of making news coverage more equitable in reflecting the makeup of communities and to make changes, if necessary. Participants in this hands-on session will take the tool for a real-time test drive, populating and analyzing the source visualizations it generates. We will then discuss how to take this free tool home and how it can be implemented by one journalist, a team or a whole news operation. ONA gave this idea its 2020 Grand Prize for Innovation in Journalism Education, and we encourage our participants to suggest improvements.

Suggested Speaker(s)

  • Lucinda Davenport
    Professor, Michigan State University School of Journalism
  • Joe Grimm
    Visiting editor in residence, Michigan State University School of Journalism