In January 2022, we finally moved into the most exciting phase of the project – the fieldwork. 

Poland was chosen as the first country to be investigated via the lens of diversity management as polyphony in journalism. As we mentioned elsewhere, the project’s research methodology was modified to reflect an approach to selecting our case studies that prof. Barbara Czarniawska, a renowned expert in organizational research, calls “windows of opportunity” (2014). This approach means that instead of choosing the newsrooms top-down, we begin with mapping the D&I initiatives in the media (including via reviewing existing research, searching the press and the Internet, consulting with our scientific and expert networks, including the project’s Advisory Board). Next we approach representatives and journalists from selected organizations to participate in the study. The selection is based on the information that something important (and potentially innovative) is happening in diversity management in these organizations. 

The refined methodology of the project incorporated elements of ethnomethodology to the study. Following a version of the “diary studies” (Czarniawska, 2014) some of the project’s interviewees agreed to keep a long-term self-reflection diary of their work and role in the organization (in connection to the study’s objectives). In this project we not only put forward the thesis that journalism in healthy democracies and open societies needs an innovative approach to diversity management, but we also assume that self-reflection is an important tool for social change.

During our fieldtrip in Warsaw (10-14 January), we conducted a number of interviews to guide the selection of newsrooms and media organizations for an in-depth study. Selected news outlets in the Polish sample include digital based (Ringier Axel Springer Polska – RASP), and (Agora) and an independent Oko:Press. We are also studying two radio stations (TOK FM (Agora) & Academic Radio Kampus (University of Warsaw students’ radio) and an international outlet created for and by representatives of so-called Generation C (for Connection, Community, Creation, Curation) – (RASP). 

Many of the selected organizations agreed to join our project’s Network of Partners. The declaration to join the project’s Network of Partners means the organization confirms its devotion to advancing the cause of social inclusion in the media and expresses interest in popularizing and making practical use of the project’s findings. From the project’s side this declaration confirms our devotion to actively share with the Network knowledge produced in the project, including by organizing a special workshop for the representatives of the Network and inviting them to the launch of the project’s e-book. This industry research report is planned to be publish towards the end of the project, around June 2023 and the team is committed to writing it in an accessible manner, sharing examples and good practices of innovative approaches to diversity management, tested, and implemented by editorial offices in Poland, Sweden and the UK. Stay tuned! 

The project’s Network of Partners is growing.