No More White Summer Interns, All Reporters To ‘Assess Their Work Through A Racial Lens,’ Boston Globe Editor Says

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The editor of The Boston Globe plans to give reporters and other staff members “the necessary time to look back six months and assess their work through a racial lens,” according to a memo he sent the newspaper’s staff earlier this week.

Brian McGrory, the editor, wants reporters, columnists, editors, photographers, and video producers to count “how many people of color were subjects, how many were quoted as experts, how many were depicted in photographs and videos, and in what fashion?”

It’s not a witch hunt, he said.

“This exercise is not meant to embarrass or penalize anyone. It’s to learn from our own work and create awareness of what we need to do,” McGrory wrote in the memo. “We’ll figure out a meaningful way to share the broader results.”

The memo, which is dated Wednesday, July 1, was published Friday, July 3 by Northeastern University journalism professor and media blogger Dan Kennedy at

The Globe plans to provide lists of sources of color to reporters and editors for news stories and other articles. McGrory said it is “of the utmost importance for everyone to include a diverse range of voices in stories and to develop sources who don’t look like you.”

Starting in 2021, McGrory said, the Globe will stop hiring summer interns who are white, and will instead “reframe” the program as “a diversity internship and training program in which all participants will be students or recent graduates of color.”

A longstanding co-op program at the newspaper is also in for changes. The newspaper uses college students, many from Northeastern University and Boston University, to perform menial tasks in the newsroom and in sports coverage.

In the future, the Globe will “Mandate that a specific proportion of our co-ops are students of color,” the memo states.

He noted that the newspaper recently began “a criminal justice team” designed “to look at the underlying racism in law enforcement.”

“We are past time giving Boston Police and other law enforcement the scrutiny they warrant; this team is already addressing that,” McGrory wrote.

An adjustment in the newspaper’s policies governing the appearance of neutrality is also in the offing.

The newspaper plans “to amend the newsroom’s ethics policy to allow for participation in Black Lives Matter rallies by staffers,” the memo states.

McGrory, who grew up in Weymouth and took over as editor of the Globe in 2013, said the newspaper will examine “core racial issues of inequality,” calling Boston “one of the most unequal places on the planet.”