Jim Bettinger Talks Diversity Strategies

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MIJE Staff
December 4, 2013

In 2011 Jim Bettinger looked at the incoming class of JSK fellows and realized it had only one Asian and two Latino fellows. Long a proponent of diversity, Bettinger vowed that future classes would reflect the rich diversity of this country. Two years later, there were more people of color in the class than white fellows, a trend that continues this year.

In this Q&A, Maynard Institute president Dori J. Maynard sits down with Stanford JSK Fellows program director Jim Bettinger on how he rethought his approach and widened his network to reach his results.

We thought it was important to launch our latest initiative with this session because for the last few years most discussions around diversifying the media have focused on the setbacks and yawning gap between where we are and where we need to be, cementing in many minds the notion that this is an intractable problem that can be chipped away at but never fully remedied.

A former newspaper editor, Bettinger realizes that, of course, there are differences between a fellowship program that has an opportunity to recruit a new class each year, and newsrooms. However, we believe his story has lessons for everyone.

This is just one of the many offerings of The Front Door Project: Realizing Robert C. Maynard's vision of fair and equitable coverage for all. The 14-month series of online initiatives that examines the state of diversity and the media, provide recommendations to help the industry move forward, and nurture the careers of new journalists. This body of work will provide insights into younger audiences and audiences of color as well as steps to improve coverage and business practices across the fault lines of race, class, gender, generation and geography.



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