Susan Smith Richardson has been named Assistant Editor, Diversity, Justice and Inclusion for The Guardian US, the latest publication to add DEI coverage to its masthead.
The position will include developing coverage of "race and identity, power and inequality," as well as creating diversity and inclusion in sourcing, audiences and editorial recruitment, according to a Guardian US statement.
The role is becoming more and more common for publishers. The Washington Post and New York Times announced similar positions in June and October, respectively. These roles, as well as the new position at the Guardian, were inspired by protests against Black Lives Matter last summer following the death of George Floyd.
A time of introspection
"We had to look inward to see how we could address these issues in our own organization," said John Mulholland, editor of the Guardian US, in an interview with Adweek.
In July, the Guardian US launched several initiatives to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. These efforts included new senior editorial roles, reviews of editorial practices, and a hiring target of 50 percent of the new roles to be filled by various candidates. Mulholland said the initiatives were ongoing.
“We know there is a lot of work to be done in diversifying our journalism,” he said, adding, “We need to work in a place with a more equitable distribution of power.
Mulholland said Richardson will seek to share that power by working with regional and nonprofit newsrooms, expanding the focus of the Guardian's coverage, and developing philanthropic projects on racial justice.
"It will help us find wider ways to cover all of our journalism," he said.
A background in research
Smith Richardson joins the Guardian from the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism.
"I am delighted to join the organization at this critical moment for democracy in the US and the world, and I look forward to creating journalism that accurately reflects the various narratives that make up America," Richardson said in a statement .
Richardson isn't the only new addition to the Guardian Media Group. The company today announced the appointment of Claire Blunt as Chief Advertising Officer and CEO International. Blunt will be responsible for the global advertising business of the Guardian, Guardian US, Guardian Australia and Guardian Jobs.
In a statement, Annette Thomas, General Manager of Guardian Media Group said, "Claire will play an important role in leading our global advertising and jobs business as we embed and execute her new strategies."