AP, Ida B. Wells Society, Maynard team up on inclusive storytelling


The Associated Press, The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, and The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education today announced plans to work together to improve diversity in newsrooms and news reports through journalistic and leadership training and more inclusive storytelling.

The Inclusive Journalism Initiative is an effort by the organizations to move the news industry toward a comprehensive plan for smarter and more expansive coverage of race and systemic inequality.

The initiative will accelerate the work of all three groups to grow the number and caliber of training opportunities for news leaders and aspiring investigative editors from underrepresented communities.

AP will enhance its own inclusive storytelling effort, launched in 2020, within the news agency and in customer newsrooms in the U.S. through new training.

“Inclusive newsrooms benefit from well-trained news leaders equipped with the right skills for significantly addressing the inequalities that, like every aspect of our culture, have impacted journalism through the years,” said AP Vice President and Head of News Audience Amanda Barrett, who along with Deputy Managing Editor Sarah Nordgren was responsible for building the initiative. “The collaboration announced today sets in motion a journalism future we all can be proud of.”

“The glaring and persistent lack of diversity, equity and belonging across journalism has deeply eroded the credibility of this craft, particularly in the eyes of communities of color,” said Maynard Institute Co-Executive Director Martin G. Reynolds. “Most mainstream news organizations lack the training and capacity to connect with new and emerging audiences. This initiative will help to address this challenge by enabling us to offer our Fault Lines diversity framework training to AP member newsrooms that may otherwise not have access to it. Our goal is to help these outlets create better journalism and to rethink their approach to organizational culture.”

“This initiative is about a fundamental shift in the way we do news in this country,” said Ida B. Wells Society Director Rhema Bland. “It’s an acknowledgement that the health and survival of this industry and in turn our democracy hinges on an expansive, comprehensive culture change.”

The Inclusive Journalism Initiative is funded by The Hearthland Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Reva & David Logan Foundation.

Goals of the Inclusive Journalism Initiative include:

  • Providing AP’s audience with solutions-based journalism and data that informs more inclusive news stories.
  • Building deeper and smarter spot news and enterprise coverage in words and visuals of communities of color by an enhanced focus that embraces all subject areas.
  • Equipping journalists at all stages of their careers, within and beyond AP, with the tools and training they need to lead the news industry on these issues going forward.
  • Developing new, industry-wide professional standards for inclusive storytelling, including an expanded section of the AP Stylebook, the must-have reference for writers, editors, students and professionals.

The funding for the initiative will be administered through the Maynard Institute and through Journalism Funding Partners, which helps support news organizations through fiscal sponsorship. Reynolds is also a member of the Reva & David Logan Foundation’s board of directors and recused himself from the vote to fund the initiative.

About AP:

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world’s population sees AP journalism every day. Online:  www.ap.org

About The Ida B. Wells Society:

The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting is a news trade organization dedicated to increasing and retaining reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative reporting. Founded in 2016 by veteran journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ron Nixon, and Topher Sanders, the organization seeks to provide free and low-cost training, skills-building, and support for journalists of color pursuing investigative work. The Society is open to journalists of all backgrounds who support the mission and work of the organization. Since its founding, it has served more than 2,000 journalists through its programming. For more information, visit idabwellssociety.org. 

About The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education:

The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education has been fighting for antiracism and belonging in journalism since 1977. The institute was founded to promote diversity and antiracism in the news media through improved coverage, hiring and business practices. We challenge the systemic lack of diversity in the news industry through training, collaborations and convenings. Through programs like the Maynard 200 fellowship, the institute is working to create better representation in America’s newsrooms.


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