Newsroom Diversity Survey finds Canadian media still overwhelmingly white

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) inaugural Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey, finds Canadian media is still overwhelmingly white, particularly at the management level.

The most comprehensive survey of its kind ever undertaken, the CAJ collected data on 3,873 journalists from 209 Canadian newsrooms across radio, television, digital and print media.

Approximately 90% of outlets that participated have no Latin, Middle Eastern or Mixed Race journalists on staff, and about 80% have no Black or Indigenous journalists.

The survey found that white journalists tend to hold more senior and stable jobs. White journalists hold 81.9% of supervisor roles and 79.6% of top three leadership positions. That compares to 1.4% who identify as Black, 8.3% who identify as Asian, and 4.2% who identify as Indigenous in supervisory roles. Black and Middle Eastern journalists are twice as likely to work in part-time roles.

“The typical Canadian newsroom is not representative of the Canadian population,” said CAJ chair and survey lead Zane Schwartz, in a release. “Almost half of all Canadian newsrooms exclusively employ white journalists. Where journalists of colour and Indigenous journalists are on staff, they tend to work in a handful of very large newsrooms.”

Other findings from the survey include that women now outnumber men in the industry, accounting for 52.7% of all newsroom staff, compared to 46.7% who identify as men and 0.7% that identify as non-binary.

A 17-page report detailing national results, methodology, and a full list of who participated can be found here. The CAJ worked with data analytics firm Qlik to develop an interactive website to visualize the results. The CAJ plans to conduct the industry-wide study on an annual basis going forward.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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