PRI's latest Inclusiveness Report reveals progress and work to be done

At PRI, we take the “public” in public media seriously, recognizing it is incumbent upon us to strive to engage a broad, pluralistic audience with high-quality, relevant journalism and storytelling. We know that can only be achieved if we ourselves are representative of America’s diversity, which comes in many forms. Accordingly, “inclusiveness” is one of five organizational priorities identified in our PRI2020 Strategic Plan.

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The following report, the second in a series, examines our holistic approach to gender and ethnic/racial diversity at PRI across our board, management, staff, bylines and sources. Metrics from this report cover the time period of July 2016-December 2017. Findings will be used internally to identify strengths and short-comings and to set priorities; they are shared externally to support our commitment to transparency.

Our staffing goal is to reflect the gender and ethnic/racial diversity of Minnesota, Massachusetts and New York, our primary locations. For content and sources, we aspire to reflect topline gender and racial diversity percentages of the US public.

Overall, we believe we are doing well when it comes to gender diversity, with women comprising 43% of our board, 54% of our staff, 64% of our management team, 59% of our bylines and 38% of our sources. When it comes to racial and ethnic diversity, there has been improvement, but there is still a lot of work to be done. 40% of all sources are people of color, and our racial/ethnic diversity has increased on our board and in our management team by 10 and 11 points, respectively, in the past year. We will continue to work to develop a fully inclusive team at staff, leadership and board levels.

In addition to PRI results and comparisons with the previous year, this report includes, at the end, publicly available information from other US and global news/media organizations for general comparison.



  • PRI’s Board: 43% female, 57% male (unchanged)
  • PRI’s Board: 29% People of color. Racial and ethnic diversity has increased by 10 pts.

Staff and Management


  • PRI Staff: 54% female, 46% male. Female representation has decreased 6 pts.
  • PRI’s Supervisors/Management: 64% female, 36% male. Female representation has increased by 9 pts.

Racial and Ethnic Diversity:

  • PRI Staff: 22% People of color. Racial and ethnic diversity has increased by 1 pt.
  • PRI’s Supervisors/Management: 18% People of color. Racial and ethnic diversity has increased by 11 pts.

PRI Content Analysis (n= 556 stories)

Bylines by Gender (n=612) — Women have increased by 7 pts since 2016*

  • Women: 59%
  • Men: 41%

Bylines by Race/Ethnicity (n=612) — People of color have decreased by 2 pts since 2016

  • People of color: 25%
  • White: 75%

Sources by Gender (n=1059) — Women have decreased by 1 point since the last report in 2016

  • Women: 37%
  • Men: 63%

Sources by Race/Ethnicity (n=1026) — People of color increased by 5 pts* since 2016

  • People of color: 40%
  • White: 60%

* = a statistically significant change, based on a 95% confidence interval. For content methodology, please see the end of this report.

External Benchmarks/Staffing

From the Global Report on the Status of Women in News Media, IWMF 2013 — results for the United States:

Women are slightly under-represented, totaling about 41% of the total news workforce.

Women are less than a fourth (23.3%) of those in top-level management and only a third (35.3%) of those in governance (i.e., company board rooms).


American Society of News Editors, 2017

In 2017, minorities comprised 16.55 percent of employees reported by all newsrooms in our survey, compared to 16.94 percent in 2016. Among daily newspapers, about 16.31 percent of employees were racial minorities (compared to 16.65 percent in 2016), and 24.3 percent of employees at online-only news websites were minorities (compared to 23.3 percent in 2016). The percent of journalists of color was still greatest at the largest news organizations. For example, at newspapers with daily circulations of 500,000 and above, nearly a quarter (23.4 percent) of the average workforce was made up of minorities (compared to 23.7 percent in 2016). The average newsroom workforce at all 661 legacy and digital sites was about 11.2 percent minority (up from 10.6 percent in 2016).

— Women made up more than a third of newsroom employees overall (39.1 percent in 2017 compared to 38.7 percent in 2016), with a higher number employed at online-only websites than at newspapers. Women comprised 38.9 percent of daily newspaper employees in this year's survey (compared to 38.1 percent in 2016) and 47.8 percent of online-only news organization employees (compared to 47.6 percent in 2016).

Of all newsroom leaders, 13.4 percent were minorities (compared to 13 percent in 2016), and 38.9 percent were women (compared to 37.1 percent in 2016).


Radio & Television News Directors Association

Radio staff diversity


NPR Newsroom Staff Diversity Numbers, 2017

Staffing graph
Newsroom gender diversity



Race and Hispanic Origin

White alone, percent, July 1, 2016: 76.9%

Black or African American alone, percent, July 1, 2016: 13.3%

American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, July 1, 2016: 1.3%

Asian alone, percent, July 1, 2016: 5.7%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, July 1, 2016: 0.2%

Two or More Races, percent, July 1, 2016: 2.6%

Hispanic or Latino, percent, July 1, 2016: 17.8%

White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, July 1, 2016: 61.3%


Female persons, percent, July 1, 2016: 50.8%



Massachusetts Census profile


Minnesota census profile

New York

New York census profile


External Benchmarks/Content


Women in the News Media 2017

Men dominate U.S. media. Men receive 62% of byline and other credits in print, Internet, TV and wire news. Women receive 38%.

Story Sources:

NPR: From NPR’s December 2015, NPR's On-Air Source Diversity: Some Improvement, More Work To Be Done

73 percent – White, 27% People of color

Story Composition:


The overall presence of women in US news outlets was 38% in print, radio and television news combined. In internet and Twitter news, women’s presence represented a slightly higher percentage at 40%.

Who Makes the News

Source of news

Women Are Seen More than Heard in Online Newspapers, PLOS One. 2016
Sen Jia, Thomas Lansdall-Welfare, Saatviga Sudhahar, Cynthia Carter, Nello Cristianini 

More generally, the news media are still very much male-dominated, with an overall probability of 77.0% that an entity mentioned in the text is male, or 69.6% that a face image is male.

PRI Content Analysis Methodology

PRI’s content analysis is based on a representative sample of 555 stories published from July 2016-December 2017 aggregated from:

  1., which contains content from PRI’s The World repurposed for the web, original digital content, and curated content from PRI’s portfolio and online content partners.
  2. From April 2017-December 2017, we included stories that aired on The World but were not published on; information prior to this time was not readily accessible but we believe at that time that it did not comprise a large omission;
  3. Our co-productions The Takeaway ( and Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen ( We removed duplicate stories that appeared on and on or

Stories were selected across a representative week per quarter as follows:

  • For the first Monday and Tuesday of the first month, the second Wednesday and Thursday of the second month and the third Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the third month.
  • For The World: the first Monday and Tuesday of the first month, the second Wednesday and Thursday of the second month and the third Friday of the third month.
  • For The Takeaway: the first Monday and Tuesday of the first month, the second Wednesday and Thursday of the second month and the third Friday of the third month.
  • For Studio 360: The first week’s broadcast/publication of the program in the first month, the second week’s broadcast/publication of the second month and the third week’s broadcast/publication of the third month.

Based on this methodology, the stories selected would not be overly skewed by major breaking news or by series. Bylines were based on who was listed on the websites and/or confirmed by editorial leadership. Sources from stories that were broadcast interviews only include people the host interviews at length; it excludes audio clips from press conferences or other widely used clips. Sources from field broadcast reports only include people the journalist spoke to and included in the report. Sources from digital articles include people our journalists spoke to directly and quoted in their story, as well as others who play a significant role in a digital story.

PRI staff members determined the demographics of bylines and sources by checking online to cross reference biographical details and/or confirming with editorial leadership. The n’s are based on total bylines and total sources, respectively, which will include duplicates. For instance, if the same reporter was listed as a byline in two separate stories in the sample, the reporter is included twice as we are tracking the number of times that reporter is featured in our content.