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CAJ releases second annual national Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey results

Press Release

OTTAWA, Dec. 21, 2022– The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is pleased to release the findings of its second annual national Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey.

The CAJ collected data on 5,012 journalists from 242 newsrooms across radio, television, digital and print media in Canada. This is up from 3,873 journalists at 209 newsrooms in the inaugural 2021 survey results. The CAJ worked with data and analytics experts at Qlik to develop an interactive website to visualize the results.

This year’s survey represents the most comprehensive data set on the gender and racial breakdown of Canadian newsrooms. It marks the second year this survey, which is voluntary, has been distributed. In total, the CAJ sent invitations to 760 newsrooms to complete the survey.

“This year we get to see a year-over-year comparison of how Canadian newsrooms are changing,” said CAJ president Brent Jolly. “The CAJ is thankful for all the media outlets who filled out the survey, and made it possible for us to continue this crucial conversation. With comparative data we are now able to document how newsrooms are changing.”

From 2021 to 2022, the per cent of Asian journalists were the second most common in both years with 10 per cent in 2021 and 7.1 per cent in 2022. The percentage of white journalists rose from 74.9 per cent in 2021 to 77.9 per cent in 2022. Indigenous journalists slightly dropped from 6.4 per cent to 4.6 per cent. Latin journalists also dropped from 1.3 per cent in 2021 to 1.2 per cent in 2022.

The percentage of Mixed Race, Black, Middle Eastern journalists all moderately rose in 2022. Mixed Race journalists went from 3.1 per cent in 2021 to 3.2 per cent, while Black journalists changed from 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent. Middle Eastern journalist percentages rose from 1.7 per cent in 2021 to 2.4 per cent in 2022.

“Canadian media is becoming very slightly more diverse as newsrooms hire more Black, Middle Eastern and Mixed Race journalists,” said CAJ national chair and survey lead Zane Schwartz. “However, those journalists are largely getting internships and part-time jobs. The more senior and stable positions continue to be dominated by white journalists.”

White journalists hold 82.9 per cent of supervisor roles and 84.3 per cent of top three leadership positions in newsrooms.

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) played a fundamental role in making sure this survey goes forward. The CRRF generously provided $30,000 to the CAJ over three years to support the survey. This funding allowed the CAJ to hire its first diversity survey officer and support two diversity survey interns.

In 2021, 80 per cent of newsrooms employed no Indigenous or visible minority journalists in top three roles. In 2022, 77 per cent employed no Indigenous or visible minority journalists in the top three roles.

About 80 per cent of outlets that participated have no Latin, Middle Eastern, Mixed Race, Black or Indigenous journalists on staff.

Where Indigenous and visible minority journalists are hired, they tend to be concentrated in a handful of large newsrooms. About 15 per cent of newsrooms employ exclusively white journalists.

A comprehensive report detailing the national results, methodology, year-over-year comparisons, data limitations and a full list of who participated can be found on the CAJ website.

As was the case in 2021, Pennsylvania-based data and analytics firm Qlik continued to play an integral role in this project. They provided the CAJ with data analysis and visualizations of survey results, allowing users to interact with newsroom survey results based on things like race, gender and job role.

“Making the data related to any challenge more clear and understandable is crucial to surfacing the underlying issues and exploring potential solutions,,” said Chuck Bannon, Director of the Demo Team at Qlik. “We are proud to work with the CAJ to tell the story behind the data that will help people in Canada, and around the world, better understand this important issue.”

Key Findings:

  • In total, the survey gathered data on 5,012 journalists working in 242 newsrooms.
  • Fifty per cent of all newsroom staff identify as women, compared to 49 per cent who identify as men and 0.4 per cent who identify as non-binary.
  • Seventy-eight per cent of journalists identify as white, 4.6 per cent identify as Indigenous and 17.5 per cent identify as a visible minority.
  • About 8 in 10 newsrooms reported having no Latin, Mixed Race or Middle Eastern journalists on staff.
  • About 8 in 10 newsrooms reported having no Black or Indigenous journalists on staff.
  • Eighty-three per cent of supervisors identify as white, compared to 2.7 per cent who identify as Black, 3.5 per cent identify as Indigenous and 5.5 per cent who identify as Asian.
  • Seventy-seven per cent of newsrooms report having no visible minorities or Indigenous people in top three leadership roles.
  • Black journalists are more likely to work in a part-time role, compared to a supervisor role, with 2.7 per cent of supervisors identifying as Black and 4.3 per cent of part-time employees identifying as Black.
  • Twelve per cent of interns identify as Indigenous, compared to 3.5 per cent of supervisors.
  • Only 0.2 per cent of supervisors identify as non-binary, compared to 2.5 per cent of interns.

About the CAJ

The CAJ is Canada’s largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing more than 1,300 members across the country. The CAJ’s primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

About Qlik

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

For further information: Brent Jolly, president, Canadian Association of Journalists, (289) 387-3179, [email protected]; Zane Schwartz, national chair and survey lead, Canadian Association of Journalists, [email protected], (604) 396-4699.

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