Penn. editor, Conn. newspaper get diversity award

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CHICAGO (AP) — Philadelphia Daily News Editor Michael Days and the New Haven Register received the 13th annual Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership at the Associated Press Media Editors-American Society of News Editors conference on Tuesday.

Days and the Register were recognized for their commitment to diversity in news content, newsroom recruiting and staff development.

Under Days' watch, the Daily News newsroom is 22 percent minority, more than half of the paper's 15 columnists are women or minorities and its readership is evenly divided between whites and non-whites, according to a nomination letter from his colleagues.

"These days, when covering basic news is a challenge, a commitment to diversity might be considered by some as a luxury, a fashionable trend we all pursued in better times. At the Daily News, diversity has never gone out of fashion," the letter read.

The Register was recognized for a diversity effort that began three years ago, when just three of 120 journalists in its newsroom and that of its sister publications in Connecticut were minorities. Today, 13 of 83 staff members are minorities.

The newspaper's efforts included sending minorities to journalism training, including a man who now is its community engagement editor. It also diversified its leadership team and hosts live and online forums on community issues.

"Our approach ... has been not just to report and offer options, but to engage and facilitate," the nomination said. "The Register is regularly an outlet that now helps the black community talk through and debate important issues."

The award is named for the late McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press and managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland who championed diversity.

This year's award was sponsored by the APME Foundation, ASNE, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and Kent State University.