Diversity is right course: Public Editor | Toronto Star

The Star’s Public Editor, Kathy English, on diversity:

That means every Star journalist must filter the many choices made every day in creating and presenting stories, opinions, photos and videos through a key question — Does this reflect Toronto in all its diversity?

This question needs to be top of mind for reporters, columnists, photographers and their editors when stories are pitched, sources are selected, images are captured. Our journalists need to seek out visible minority sources for comment on all the broad issues that affect our entire community — not just the issues that affect their specific communities. We should not accept easy stereotypes and tokenism. And just as importantly, we must understand how a disproportionate level of negative coverage of visible minorities can skew perceptions of reality.

Of course, all of this makes good business sense at a time when the economics of news publishing are changing drastically. Studies link a decline in reader engagement with the news to the reality that many people do not see themselves reflected in coverage. Certainly to grow readership and deepen reader engagement across all the new platforms through which the Star serves readers now and into the future we need to reach and reflect a diverse audience.

But for me, the heart of this issue is the overall accuracy and fairness of the Star’s coverage of its community. When we do not fully and truly reflect the diversity of Toronto we give readers an incomplete and inaccurate picture of their community.

Indeed, reflecting Toronto in all its rich diversity is the right thing to do.

Diversity is right course: Public Editor | Toronto Star.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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