On 3rd November 2022, Greta Gober, PI of the international research project “Diversity Management as Innovation in Journalism” gave a lecture to a group of journalists from Syre under the theme “Racism and the media and what diversity management in journalism got to do with it?”

The lecture was organized at the invitation of Jenny Rönngren, news editor at Syre, who earlier in October participated in a debate “From unruliness to collective action: Resisting norms on gender and sexuality in media” organized by Greta Gober as part of ECREA’s Gender, Sexuality and Communication Section pre-conference. 

Syre is a Swedish newspaper published by Dagens O2, owned by Mediehuset Grön Press. The newspaper is published six days a week as a web magazine, and once a week in paper form as a weekly magazine. The magazine has 4,500 active subscribers. Syre’s profile is libertarian green and it aims to create space for perspectives and voices under-monitored in mainstream news flows.

The focus of the lecture was on the media diversity and inclusion paradox, i.e., the disconnect between media organizations and newsrooms expressed commitments to ‘diversity’ and the experiences of ‘minority’ journalists working in those places. Gober attempted to develop (and solve?) this paradox based on the Swedish results of an international research project funded by Norway Grants “Diversity management as innovation in journalism”. 

Gober’s inspiration for developing the media diversity and inclusion paradox is derived from organizational theory and Barbara Czarniawska’s “Narrating the Organization”, where she applies anthropology (ethnographically oriented field studies), literary theory (narrative approach to knowledge), and the institutional school within sociology (and particularly relevant for the project Robert E. Park’s ‘sociological journalism’) to organizational life – the most pervasive social phenomenon of contemporary Western societies (1997, p 2) 

The lecture attempted to problematize the media diversity and inclusion paradox based on experience of ‘minority journalists’ and media managers and editors working with diversity and inclusion in Swedish newsrooms. Questions developed during the lecture included: 

  • Where does journalistic knowledge come from? View-from-nowhere versus situated knowledge.
  • Who is a ‘minority journalist’? Individual versus collective identity.
  • Is professional identity (always) objective, while personal identity (always) biased? Journalistic role perception versus role performance.

Gober also recommended the book „Reckoning: Journalism’s Limits and Possibilities” where Candis Callison and Mary Lynn Young offer some food-for-thought on what’s next for diversity management in journalism, including: 

  • probe journalists and media practitioners to be consciously aware of racial and other stereotypical representations and institutional structures that discriminate against minorities,
  • aim to create journalism guided by epistemic justice or „balanced epistemology”, which will contribute to the neutralization of privilege,
  • make no claims to creating universal knowledge, instead probe simultaneously many, local and subordinate centers of knowledge,
  • see all centers of knowledge as equally valued, especially as increasingly interesting (innovative) propositions are created by various minorities (ethnic, religious, sexual)


Callison, C., Young, M. L. (2020). Reckoning: Journalism’s Limits and Possibilities. online edition: Oxford University Press https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190067076.001.0001

Czarniawska, B. (1997). Narrating the Organization. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.