At New Hampshire Public Radio, we speak with pride about our commitment to independent, factual journalism, and to building community and connections across the Granite State. But it is important that we also speak with humility about the challenges we face in fulfilling those commitments.
Foremost today among those challenges is NHPR’s pressing need to become a more diverse and inclusive news organization and a more equitable workplace.
New Hampshire is changing. The population of people of color who live here has doubled since the year 2000; roughly one in six of New Hampshire’s children are people of color.
But NHPR has lagged this pace of change. Our staff is even less diverse than our state, and our journalism is not as inclusive as our public media mission demands – shortcomings that have come into high relief with issues of race and social justice so pervasive in New Hampshire and the nation.
So now we are making fresh commitments, about the work we do for the people of New Hampshire and about how we work together to do it. And these commitments are backed by concrete action.
Our journalists are broadening their sources, including new and more diverse voices in our programming and focusing on their blind spots and biases. Our hiring managers are getting more support in recruiting and retaining diverse staff. Our teams are scouring their practices to root out miscommunication and build trust with communities we have failed to cover thoroughly in the past.
And our leadership has taken responsibility for building an NHPR that lives up to New Hampshire’s highest expectations.
These are our commitments:
- We will increase the diversity of our staff, through both hiring and retention. We will actively seek out people of color to work at NHPR, and we will take steps to make NHPR a place where non-white people want to work and stay to advance in their careers. Our goal is to become at least as diverse as the state; hiring managers will be held accountable for progress toward this objective.
- We will make clear that NHPR not only does not tolerate racism in the workplace but is committed to being anti-racist. We will implement a policy that establishes expectations about behavior within our organization, so everyone understands what is out of bounds, how to raise concerns and what the consequences will be for inappropriate conduct.
- We will train our staff in anti-racist conduct and in cultural competence. These skills and qualities will be reflected both in our journalism and our relationships with the public, our stakeholders and our colleagues.
- We will make the work of becoming a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace the responsibility of everyone at NHPR by incorporating it in our individual, team and organizational goals.
- We will establish a working group to advise NHPR’s leadership on the ongoing work of embracing the practices of diversity, equity and inclusion; to serve as a conduit for staff concerns, and to hold leadership accountable for maintaining focus and progress on these fronts.
This in no way is the end of what we’ll do. This is a start. NHPR is public media for everyone in New Hampshire. That is a humbling responsibility, but one we embrace.
I welcome your questions and suggestions. Please email me at email@example.com.
Jim Schachter is the President and Chief Executive Officer of New Hampshire Public Radio.