Update October 2022: Read our content audit
Southern California Public Radio’s (LAist and LAist Studios) mission is to strengthen the civic and cultural bonds that unite Southern California’s diverse communities. We do this by producing news and information that is impactful, equitable, and responsible to the public.
While we have taken strides to be more reflective of the region we serve, I recognize we can and must do more.
In the summer of 2020, SCPR formed an independent diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) task force. The remit was to independently assess where we were as an organization in terms of DEI, engage with the organization to understand where issues and opportunities for change existed, and, finally, to make recommendations to the executive team and the board of trustees on how to move our organization forward.
The task force engaged with more than 90% of the organization, as well as former employees, board members, community advisory board members, and independent DEI consultants to gather feedback, ensuring that every voice that wanted to be heard had a mechanism to do so. The objective was to make the process of change as inclusive as possible.
That process enabled the team to understand what it would mean to translate SCPR’s vocal commitment to DEI into action and everyday practices. Some of the themes identified included:
- Newsroom norms and the editorial process can be beholden to the perspectives and narratives that are not as diverse or inclusive as we wish them to be
- The need to recruit more diverse talent, improve the hiring experience, address challenges with retention, and make clear paths to employee advancement
- The desire to increase diversity in upper ranks
- A need to improve onboarding of new staff
- Employees perceive a lack of transparency
- Employees would like more meaningful, consistent feedback from managers and recognize that managers need support
- Employees concerned about how to address DEI matters in an appropriate way and managing the potential for “equity fatigue”
The Task Force released its final report in March 2021, along with 44 specific recommendations that provide an ambitious and detailed roadmap for advancing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture across SCPR. The executive team developed an implementation plan based on those recommendations and work to deliver on that is underway. A high-level summary of those activities is included here.
I am grateful for the incredible work and thought put into this effort and I’m committed to improving diverse representation throughout the organization. In that spirit, the implementation plan is a positive step forward and one that I am personally dedicated to delivering and tracking our progress on.
To the future,
Herb Scannell, CEO
August 11, 2021
The executive team is responsible for implementing a plan that is designed to transform SCPR from an organization where diversity may sometimes be seen as a project to one where diversity, equity, and inclusion are the foundation of everything we do. In doing so, we aim to become an employer of choice and produce journalism that reflects and serves the diverse communities of Southern California.
Our implementation plan has five major themes, including:
- Our Mission
- Our Journalism
- The Employee Experience
- Revenue & Fundraising
- How to SCPR
There are some 44 concrete actions that support these themes, each led by a member of the executive team and to be delivered within a 6-, 12-, or 18-month period. These actions have been shared across our organization, and progress will be tracked quarterly by the SCPR board.
Here is an outline of the activities that are underway for each theme:
- Including a statement of our values and guiding principles alongside our mission to provide a more comprehensive and clear articulation of our intent in relation to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Overhauling our style guide to better reflect diverse audience experiences
- Tracking and increasing the diversity of our sources, moving towards a goal of at least half of non-governmental sources being Latinx
- Undertaking regular third-party audits of our content through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens
- Deepening our engagement with our Regional Advisory Council
The Employee Experience
- Materially increasing our outreach to traditionally underrepresented candidates and support staff engagement in advocacy and affinity groups
- Achieve increasingly diverse finalist pools from which to select successful candidates
- Growing the number and duration of paid internships
- Developing a standardized approach to onboarding for new hires and recently promoted staff
- Refreshing our learning and development curriculum to support staff capabilities and growth potential
- Introducing individual DEI goals for everyone at SCPR
- Implementing a range of actions that build greater inclusion such as the use of pronouns, enhanced caregiver support, mental health and wellness programs and more systematic and comprehensive internal awareness of opportunities.
Revenue And Fundraising
- Reviewing all opportunities to grow revenue with our increasingly diverse audiences including nontraditional approaches and to engage SCPR staff members in a way that supports the authentic reflection of the diversity, skills, and contribution of our team.
How To SCPR
- Developing increasingly consistent, efficient and user friendly ways to communicate internally - including a comprehensive communication plan and infrastructure that supports greater transparency.
- The board is committed to actively engaging in the implementation of SCPR’s overall DEI plan, including setting goals for itself and defining and measuring the performance of the organization as a whole during its ongoing review processes.