In a video interview — and the post-event write-up — Bureau Local’s Shirish Kulkarni encourages journalists to center service to communities in their daily work. He says, “Journalism is not for journalists but for citizens. We have to have citizens in our minds at every point of what we do.”
Audiences are fed up with news that reinforces systemic inequities and fails to provide the necessary context.
As Kulkarni says, “There is racism in our newsrooms and those racist viewpoints have infected everything about our cause in society. Our discourse in journalism and politics often characterizes immigrants as opportunistic and undeserving. Imagine how that kind of newsroom conversations make me and others like me feel. If people of color were driving editorial decisions in newsrooms, all our discussions about immigration, inequality, education and crime would be entirely different. We need to address that with urgency.”
Additionally, Kulkarni says, “Audiences are crying out for context” despite newsrooms dependence on breaking news, which often comes at the expense of context and understanding. He says, “News organizations are so focused on the habit of constantly updating the top line that the underlying point quickly becomes really difficult to unpick as a viewer if you are not watching the news every hour or even every day.”
The article outlines many additional takeaways, including:
- News organizations should help their audiences better understand the world around them.
- Audiences want journalism that provides agency.
- Journalism needs to be more inclusive and reflective of diversity.
- Reporters should be more transparent about their reporting—and what they don’t know.