Series Intro: Diversity in Media

In July 2021, we placed a call for our fourth essay series, which seeks to place media diversity in historical context. Diversity may encompass a range of backgrounds, perspectives, lifestyles, and experiences. All topics exploring how diverse and marginalized groups have participated and/or been represented in media throughout history were welcome.

This year, Journalism History will publish 17 of those essays, selected by a panel of eight judges. The top four submissions to our essay competition will be featured in the journal. Those essays are by Bailey Dick, Gerry Lanosga, Wendy Melillo, and Melony Shemberger; Dick, the first-place winner, received a $100 prize.

Additionally, at least one installment in the diversity essay series will be posted on the website each month throughout 2022, beginning in February.

  • February: Via press coverage, Koji Fuse and James Mueller will discuss how the 1907–1908 U.S.-Japan Gentlemen’s Agreement contributed to
    restricting diversity in the United States.
  • March: Kate McQueen will tell the story of the American Penal Press Contest and the cultivation of prison journalism.
  • April: Brian Carroll will explore why Black baseball history matters.
  • May: George Daniels will explain how he incorporates diversity, equity, and inclusion into journalism history education, and Marama Whyte will examine media sex discrimination lawsuits.
  • June: Kimberly Voss will discuss soft news in Black newspapers.
  • July: Elisabeth Fondren and Carolyn Edy will consider two women daily metropolitan newspaper reporters who covered World War I.
  • August: Sheila Webb will explore how women used print publications to garner support for their right to vote.
  • September: Stephanie Seul will write about the Jewish weekly Jüdische Rundschau during the First World War.
  • October: Steve Kilar will examine the early years of AIDS in the LGBTQ press, and Paulette Kilmer will look at how superstitious people are erased from the historical narrative.
  • November: Meg Heckman will help build a more accurate, inclusive understanding of the people who built modern journalism.
  • December: Anthony Hatcher will compare Nikole Hannah-Jones’ The 1619 Project with Floyd McKissick’s 1969 book 3/5 of a Man.

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