Ethical dilemmas of diversity and race for journalists

Diversity has always been a conversation among media professionals. To be ethical, journalists must be considerate of titles, biases and accuracy. These issues are even more important with today’s use of social media.

Ethical journalism for diversity

Keith Woods, group leader in reporting, writing and editing for Poynter Institute, said there are three main actions a journalist can take to remain ethical when reporting. These actions include:

  • Inclusion
  • Covering the under-covered
  • Mitigating bias and prejudice

By performing these actions, journalists avoid leaving minorities out of the news. Journalists will also gain a deeper understanding of minorities, which will aid them in avoiding euphemisms and stereotypes.

Being a minority

As a Jew, the topic of diversity has always been relevant for me. Although the holocaust occurred over 70 years ago, anti-Semitism still exists. To me, diversity means that people of all races, ages, sexes, sexual orientation and religion receive equal treatment and representation. Because I consider myself a minority, I am excited to work with CEO and Managing Partner of Little Known Stories Production Company, Monda Webb, on her film, “Zoo,” which uncovers the hidden history of animal zoos.

Learning the truth

Webb’s goal for her film is to reveal the truth behind animal zoos through a story of two girls attending the World Fair in 1958. One girl is German, the other is African and the issues of diversity and race are endless. As an intern for Webb, I must know the background of animal zoos and what diversity issues the film discusses by conducting my own research. As a result, I will be able to manage the company’s social media while remaining ethical and sensitive to the diversity of the audience.

Actresses Erin Appiah and Kate Egan on set for “Zoo” portray issues of diversity and race in 1950.  Photo by: Monda Webb

Actresses Erin Appiah and Kate Egan on set for “Zoo” portray issues of diversity and race in 1950.
Photo by: Monda Webb

Intercultural communication

While managing the social media accounts of Little Known Stories Production Company, I must be extremely cautious of the terms of use. According to the Associated Press Stylebook, “African,” “African American” and “black” are all acceptable if used correctly. Even when writing this blog, I had to double check that my use of “Africa” was correctly associated with someone actually born in Africa.