The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


February 12, 2021billrossGuild News, Inquirer, Media

Dear Guild members, 

The Temple audit of The Inquirer documents and quantifies what has been known and, sadly, largely ignored for decades by newsroom leaders, most of them now gone. 

The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia hopes the audit — and its painful accounting of inequities that have harmed employees of color and rendered The Inquirer irrelevant to so many residents of Philadelphia and its diverse communities — is finally the impetus for change the Company can no longer ignore.

Rectifying years and years of hiring and promotion practices that have resulted in a newsroom staff that is nearly 75% white producing stories that largely feature white subjects and quote white sources will no doubt take time.

What can and should change immediately is a long-standing practice of inequitable pay, borne out by the results of a pay study the Guild presented to the Company last year. It was one of several appeals for pay equity the Guild has made in recent years.

Rather than acknowledge those results and make necessary adjustments to erase pay gaps between white journalists and those of color with comparable experience and job responsibilities, the Company instead embarked on its own pay equity study, the results of which are still not available.

Each day we sustain an environment at The Inquirer that includes racial and gender-based disparities, each day that our newsroom fails to reflect the diversity of the city and the residents who feel no connection to us is a lost opportunity to serve the region with the kind of relatable, indispensable journalism it deserves.

Today, we lose yet another Black journalist from a staff of reporters already too deficient in different perspectives as he heads to a job elsewhere. There is no time to waste in enacting the pay, hiring, promotion and coverage changes the need for which the Temple audit underscores. Not another day.

In solidarity,