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90% of media leaders are pleased with their company’s gender diversity

90% of media leaders feel their organisations are doing a good job in gender diversity but numbers are considerably lower when it comes to doing a good job with political diversity (55%). After the pandemic, 65% have implemented flexible and hybrid working models with new rules in place for staff. 74% think that generative AI will help newsrooms increase productivity and improve workflows, without changing the essence of journalism. 

The conclusions are based on a survey of 135 senior industry leaders from 40 countries and ten in-depth interviews made by the Reuters Institute.

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Key findings:

  • – Two-thirds (65%)  said that their organisations have implemented flexible and hybrid working models with new rules in place for staff.
  • – Newsrooms have largely settled on embracing some degree of workplace flexibility: 30% of respondents said staff are required to be in the office some fixed days per week and their company is enforcing the rule to make sure it’s respected, while 22% said that, despite staff being required to be in the office some fixed days per week, no one is checking if this really happens.
  • – Some news leaders remain worried about a sense of disconnect within their workforce: 38% said that the shift to hybrid and flexible working has weakened staff’s sense of belonging to the organisation.
  • – 74% think that generative AI will help newsrooms increase productivity and improve workflows, without changing the essence of journalism. Just 21% said that generative AI will transform workflows and processes, fundamentally changing every role in the newsroom.
  • – When it comes to guiding staff through opportunities and risks of AI, 29% of news leaders report that their organisations already have in place high-level principles to guide their AI plans, while 39% say they are working on them. 
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  • – Only 16% of respondents report having in place detailed guidelines on how to use generative AI in different circumstances and 35% say they are working on them. Only 9% of leaders report having training programmes for staff already in place.
  • – 90% feel their organisations are doing a good job in gender diversity but numbers are considerably lower when it comes to doing a good job with political diversity (55%), supporting staff with disabilities (54%), or ethnic diversity (52%).
  • – 43% said their organisation has a systematic and articulated strategy for diversifying talent acquisition, but in other areas systematic strategies were relatively rare. When looking at retaining talent, only 22% of news leaders said their organisations have a systematic and articulated strategy and 37% have such an approach to reflecting diversity in stories produced.
  • – Finding diverse talent was identified as the top challenge, mentioned by 57%. 29% said retaining diverse talent was a problem, 20% said that improving diversity and representation is not considered an organisational priority, and 17% said there is a lack of understanding of the value/merit of it.
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