These media organisations are on the right track

While monitoring diversity is common practice in many media organisations in the English-speaking world, there are hardly any media institutions in Germany that measure diversity or keep track of discriminatory experiences. The few exceptions in Germany are:

Thomson Reuters
The international news agency records the nationality of its journalists in Germany to evaluate their diversity statistics. Currently, 31 percent of the staff hold a foreign nationality. This is partly explained by the fact that many correspondents must be multilingual.

Westdeutscher Rundfunk
Since 2014, the WDR has been keeping statistics on the ethnic and immigrant backgrounds of newly hired employees. Participants give this information voluntarily and it is rendered anonymous. According to the broadcaster, in 2021 16 out of 42 trainees (38 percent) came from immigrant families. In the three preceding years, they also made up over 30 percent. In the non-journalistic departments, the number is slightly lower. Of the 177 employees, apprentices and trainees who joined WDR in 2019, 40 had an immigrant background (22.6 percent). The willingness to participate in the voluntary survey is obviously high, with about 90 percent of trainees responding. This is very positive.

In 2013, SWR reported that it had conducted a one-time anonymous survey on the migration background of all its staff, in which more than 2,000 employees participated. Nineteen percent said they had a migration background. How high the percentage was among the journalistic staff was not communicated outside the organisation.

Good Practice: DIAMOND - Joint Monitoring for the main UK broadcasters

DIAMOND is a cross-broadcast external monitoring system for broadcasting companies in the United Kingdom. The system ensures a common standard for monitoring diversity. First, it measures the actual diversity of the people working on a programme, both on- and off-screen. And second, it measures how an audience might perceive the diversity of characters and contributors on-screen. With Diamond, a broadcaster can for example see how high the percentage of disabled people is in their comedy shows, or how many employees with Asian roots actually work in their newsrooms

The system was pioneered by the BBC. Now ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5/Viacom and Sky also use Diamond to measure diversity and discrimination in their companies. To date, there is no comparable initiative in Germany. Who will lead the way in Germany?