Diversity in Journalism

News media has long been criticized for a lack of diversity and for causing many to not have a voice. To address this issue, the Society of Professional Journalists has established a Diversity Committee that focuses on inclusion of diverse groups of people in news rooms across the country so the voices of underrepresented groups will be heard. This week you will write a blog post that focuses on issues of diversity in journalism. Watch the video (Links to an external site.) below for more information about your 

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VIDEO LINK assignment.

In the blog post you must:

  • Choose a topic directly related to diversity in journalism
  • Write a 500 word blog post in a consistent style and voice
  • Include at least two images and/or pieces of multimedia to enhance the content of the blog post
  • Provide proper attributions throughout the blog post
  • Adhere to AP style in writing the blog post

Blogs that meet all of the requirements outlined will be judged and considered by the instructor of the course for submission to the SPJ blog for publication.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.



Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.


Finishing Touches
Prepare Icon Prepare: The process of gathering information, conducting interviews, verifying information, and considering your audience as you write a news story is meticulous. The journalist must pay attention to every detail in gathering and reporting news to ensure accuracy, timeliness, clarity, and brevity all while creating an engaging piece that will captivate audiences.  
Reflect Icon Reflect: Think about the following in detail:

  • What was the greatest challenge you faced in gathering information for your special report?
  • In what area did you feel most prepared? Why?
  • In what area did you feel the least prepared? Why?
  • Overall, how well did your special report come together in the end?
Write Icon Write: Then, write a 250- to 300-word blog post that shares with your peers how you felt about the process of gathering information to write your special report. View the Formatting Stories and BlogsPreview the documentView in a new window document for assistance with formatting your blog.

Discuss Icon

Respond to Peers: After you have written your blog post, read the blog posts of your peers and post a comment to at least three other bloggers about their story ideas. Your comments should address them by name, be between 50 and 75 words in length, and must include your name at the end of each response.







Breaking News: Special Report

This assignment requires you to write about a significant topic and its impact on your local community, city, town, or state for a local or state print newspaper and digital publication. The topic should be able to be connected to a larger issue that is statewide, regional, or national. You must interview at least two local individuals about the topic that you choose to write about, gather first-hand information in accordance with records and meetings laws, and create two news stories tailored to the audience of the chosen publications. You must interview those who can lend expert knowledge or opinions relevant to the story. The interviews must be conducted in person, by phone, or by video conference. Documents obtained for the news stories must be from credible entities.

For the story, you must:

  • Adhere to the NewspaperPreview the document and Digital PublicationPreview the document templates and Associated Press (AP) Style.
  • Examine a topic that is current, controversial, and of human interest.
  • Develop the story for a real-world print publication, tailored to a specific audience and for a real-world digital publication tailored to a specific audience
  • Incorporate facts, visual elements, interactive elements and pull-quotes to enhance  each story.
  • Differentiate between various facts and opinions on the topic.
  • Provide proper attribution for all sources of information included in the story (facts, statistics, images/video, and opinions).

Each story:

  • Must be at least 500 words but no more than 550 words.
  • Must use at least five sources of information. Among the sources chosen, the following are required:
    • At least one verbal interview (in-person, by phone, or by video conference) with a specific, expert opinion on the topic
    • At least one varying opinion on the topic in the form of an additional interview conducted by the student or from a credible source where another person was interviewed with an opposing opinion
    • At least two statistical and/or factual pieces of information about the topic from a credible source
    • At least one piece of information obtained or pending by utilizing a FOIA request
  • Must include at least two visual elements (chart, diagram, photograph, etc.) for the written story and utilize a pull quote in the layout.
  • Must include at least two visual elements for the digital story and one interactive element for the digital publication

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