Participating in the University of West Virginia’s Oct. 3 discussion on media diversity, left to right: Mizell Stewart, Sudeep Reddy, Malena Cunningham and Neal Justin.

UNITY kept busy in early October with its participation in two events that spoke directly to the organization’s mission to preach the importance of diversity in newsrooms and coverage.

NPR’s Keith Woods strolls past a row of panelists discussing diversity in the era of the Trum presidency at the University of West Virginia on October 3. In the foreground at right is NLGJA executive director Adam Pawlus.

On Oct. 3, UNITY president Neal Justin participated in a panel discussion about covering diversity during the Trump presidency at the University of West Virginia.

Roughly 90 people showed up to hear Justin, media critic for the Minneapolis Star Tribune; Mizell Stewart, vice president of news operations for Gannett and the USA Today Network; Politico managing editor Sudeep Reddy; and documentary filmmaker Malena Cunningham.

In addition to the free evening event, all panel participants visited classrooms for more intimate discussions.

The visit to Morgantown is the latest example of UNITY traveling to areas of the country that are often overlooked when it comes to discussion the importance of diversity in journalism. UNITY worked in partnership with the university and is indebted to Prof. Alison Bass, who moderated the discussion and was instrumental in making the event a success.

On Oct. 10, Justin, AAJA president Yvonne Leow and NLGJA executive director Adam Pawlus took part in a day-long discussion at the ASNE convention in Washington DC that looked at how ASNE’s diversity survey could attract more participants.

Based on the numbers shared by newsrooms in the latest survey, minority representation is at 16.6 percent, a half-percentage decrease from last year. For a detailed breakdown, visit http://asne.org/diversity-survey-2017

If your college or community would like to host a UNITY event, please contact Neal Justin at njustin@startribune.com

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