YOU WERE HEARD!!
It is something that our members at The Inquirer have been asked to do over and over and over again in recent years to help the Company survive as the news industry faced one obstacle after another, one new competitor after another keen on stealing our subscribers and advertisers.
What didn’t change, however, is the Company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Its newsroom remains largely white in a city that isn’t. As a result of the most recent round of buyouts and layoffs, the advertising department has lost just about every person of color.
Pay inequity along racial lines remains in the newsroom, a shameful circumstance.
So does a leadership core that also does not reflect what the city we cover looks like … not by a long shot.
That environment has caused our members of color great pain over the years, leaving them feeling undervalued, unappreciated, and unheard.
Then came an insensitive headline in a week when the city and this country have convulsed with the sickening pain of racial injustice. And our journalists of color could swallow their words no more.
Their frustration and anguish over the lack of truly meaningful change on diversity in The Inquirer newsroom poured forth Wednesday. No job should ever cause any employee to feel the kind of pain, embarrassment, and sense of being overlooked they expressed.
Three days later, The Inquirer’s longtime executive editor, a white man, has announced his resignation.
The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia wishes Stan Wischnowski well and acknowledges that the job of running any newsroom is not an easy one. But The Inquirer’s executive level needs more diversity if it is ever going to have credibility with the Philadelphia community, as well as with its own employees, that it really truly cares about reflecting ALL people.
To my colleagues of color, please take heart that you have been heard. But you must not grow silent. There is much within The Inquirer that still needs to change. Thank you for having the courage to speak up and for giving so much of your talents and passions for the good of this region amid your pain.