IRW values ethics, transparency and diversity, inclusion and equity — in our coverage and among our staff.
Internal diversity, inclusion and equity efforts
IRW has been conducting investigations on issues that impact marginalized communities since we began publishing in 2009. We have done stories on immigration, immigration detention and fatal shootings of people of color by police.
Recent coverage includes tracking the health and welfare of those living near oil refineries nationwide, including in Shreveport, Louisiana, where race and poverty have been dealt an additional blow with the coronavirus outbreak. We also have looked at water problems in California, where unincorporated, often minority, communities suffer from a lack of clean drinking water.
Our staff includes paid interns who are college students from around the nation. We choose students from both public and private schools and from a variety of majors who represent a range of racial, ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds and sexual and gender identities. Through the School of Communication, we also offer a one-year Graduate Fellowship for those admitted to the master’s program in journalism and public affairs.
External diversity efforts
In an effort to diversify newsrooms, IRW Managing Editor Lynne Perri co-founded a program with POLITICO and the Maynard Institute to bring college students to Washington each summer to learn more about how to cover politics and public policy. The application-only program, the Politico Journalism Institute, is now in its seventh year. American University faculty lead workshops in how to develop story ideas, write, and do data and document research. IRW also leads sessions in navigating newsroom culture, including bringing your authentic self to work. Students stay on campus while also working in the Politico newsroom.
INN’s annual survey
IRW participated recently in a 2020 diversity study among news nonprofits, undertaken by the Institute for Nonprofit News. Complete results can be found here.