WashPost Lurching Left: New Hires for 'Diversity and Inclusion,' Coverage of 'Far Right'

June 18th, 2020 4:34 PM

Andrew Beaujon at Washingtonian magazine reported on Twitter on Thursday afternoon that a memo from Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan informed Post employees that the newspaper is going to add a dozen positions to help "build a stronger culture of diversity and equity." 

In other words, this is a more energetic attempt to mollify internal anger from journalists of color (and others in “allyship”) by trying to create a more progressive workspace, inside the office and in the “news” product. Conservatives can expect a further lurch to the left.

Beaujon reproduced these lines from Ryan, listing new positions: 

Managing editor for diversity and inclusion: This senior leadership position will act as a convener of regular coverage discussions that will bring together an expanded group of editors, reporters, and visual journalists focused on race and identity. This managing editor will participate in story meetings, review coverage that involves sensitive issues of race and diversity and listen to and share staff concerns. This managing editor will also work with Tracy Grant to identify and recruit candidates and participate in final decisions on hiring and promotion. 

America Desk Editor: We will add an editor to the America desk to help direct and edit expanded coverage of race and identity.

Race in America writer:  A reporter who can write with immediacy, sweep, and authority on race and identity in America.

Writer on America and multiculturalism: A reporter who will focus on this country’s emergence as a predominantly multicultural society -- a momentous demographic shift that requires sustained attention and enterprising reporting....

National security writer: A reporter with investigative skills who will dig into domestic terrorism, including extremist groups with supporters in the military and police; the internationalization of far-right groups; and the sources of financial support for white nationalism.

Beaujon also tweeted out other initiatives: 

• An “opportunity year” for three staffers to work in other roles/departments. Their old positions will be filled by temporary hires.
• A live series called “Race in America"
• It will add a Diversity & Inclusion Director to its HR department.
• There will be Unconscious Bias Training for all managers and editors.
• The Post will release its diversity data, an ASNE-style survey with the first report in July.
• The company will build a “Diversity & Inclusion landing page”
• It will also add two more personal days to its paid leave that employees can take "whether to celebrate cultural and faith traditions or any date of personal significance.”

The Post also pledged to work harder on "pay equity," which is a serious bone of contention in newsrooms.