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Diversity Diaries: Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

By Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
Chairman, New York Times Co.
and publisher, The New York Times

08.08.02

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I try to make it to two minority journalism conferences a year. The joy of a minority journalism conference is you can find yourself in a conversation with three or four different people. One’s going to be a student, one’s going to be an editor, and one’s going to be a foreign correspondent.

They cross journalism in a way that almost no other conference does. The editors’ conference only has editors; the publishers’ conference only publishers. The minority conferences really sweep across our profession, and that’s exciting.

The National Association of Black Journalists named Gerald Boyd journalist of the year prior to the announcement that he had been promoted to Times managing editor. When they introduced people on the dais at dinner that night, Harry Belafonte got a warm round of applause, as you might imagine. But Gerald got a standing ovation.

I turned to Gerald’s wife, Robin, and said, “Isn’t it nice to know that you’re married to a man who gets more applause than Harry Belafonte?” That was a special evening.

I also go so that nobody in The New York Times Co. can say they don’t have time to attend things. If I’m going to be there, you know the message it sends.

The issue in advancing newsroom diversity is that you have to get people into gate-keeper roles. You have to force your hiring managers to find talent and demand that every pool of applicants for any job includes at least one woman and one minority.

The minute you go to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ convention you will never again say, “I can’t find a Hispanic journalist of quality.”

Related

Diversity Diaries
Diversity Diaries is a collection of true stories from newspaper people around the country who have experienced or observed pivotal moments in diversity.  10.04.01

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