Oh, how time flies!
One year ago the Caller-Times joined more than 260 local publications and USA TODAY in making a diversity pledge to show our commitment to be more reflective of the diversity of our communities.
Part of our pledge includes being transparent about the makeup of our evolving newsrooms through the annual release of the results of a diversity survey.
Here’s what you should know:
Census estimates show that Hispanics account for 63.4% of the population of Corpus Christi and the surrounding area we cover in South Texas. Women also slightly outnumber men – 50.2% to 49.8%.
How diverse is the Caller-Times newsroom?
Last year, the Caller-Times newsroom was among the few of its size in the network that stood out because of its level of diversity.
This year, the numbers reflect that our staff diversity has slightly dipped. Our newsroom has about 38% percent of our staff that is Hispanic while the majority are white. We employ an even 50/50 split of women and men, which is reflective of the nearly even split in the Corpus Christi area.
Our management team also is a 50/50 mix of Hispanics and whites.
It’s important to note that this newest survey is a snapshot as of July 13, 2021, which means it doesn’t take into account new hires, promotions or departures since then. It also doesn’t include the ethnicity of our summer interns, who have often been diverse candidates. Many have gone on to be full-time staffers after graduation.
The survey includes the gender and racial makeup of our news workforce and our coverage area at that time, as well as for managers in our newsroom.
In 2019, I became the third woman to lead our newsroom and the first Latina to hold the title of editor-in-chief. It took 136 years for that milestone. I’m currently the lone woman on the editing staff though there have been recent years the ratio of women to men managers has flip flopped.
Overall, we can say it’s a start but we know there’s room for improvement. There always will be.
That’s because true diversity doesn’t happen overnight and isn’t a permanent guarantee because there will always be staffing changes. Longtime staffers leave. New hires are made. Staffers are promoted both within our newsroom or to larger newsrooms within the network. Recruitment of diverse candidates is an ongoing process for us.
It’s also not a solvable equation that uses only one formula. The good news is there are many paths to becoming more inclusive. Our diversity pledge means we’ll stay the course for the long haul because we’ve seen the benefits of a more diverse staff.
A few years ago our team of Caller-Times journalists contributed to a multimedia series — led by the Arizona Republic and the USA TODAY Network — that won a Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious prize in American journalism. Our local staffers delivered reporting, research, photos and videos that was part of “The Wall: Unknown stories. Unintended consequences,” a special report from 2017 on the border wall.
Since then, we’ve continued to win numerous statewide awards for community and investigative journalism including solutions-based coverage on domestic violence, barriers to voting and other issues around strengthening our elections.
Mary Ann Cavazos Beckett is the editor of the Caller-Times. The South Texas native supports local journalists who are committed to shining a light on wrongdoing, showcasing human kindness and telling solutions-based stories that better our communities. If you believe in this work, please consider a subscription.
How our newsroom demographics compare to our community
of our newsroom employees are people of color.
of residents in our community are people of color. (Note: 63.4 percent of that figure is Hispanic).
of our newsroom employees are women.
of residents in our community are women.