CAJ releases Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey results

Asha Bajaj
3 min readNov 25, 2021


Dear CAJ members,

For the first time in Canadian media history, hundreds of newsrooms have come together to make the inaugural Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey possible. We are thrilled to be able to share the findings of that survey with you all today.

The survey collected data on 3,873 journalists working in 209 newsrooms across the country and marks the first time that comprehensive race and gender data has been collected for journalists working at all levels in the newsroom — from interns to top newsroom leaders.

The CAJ worked with data analytics experts at Qlik to develop an interactive website to visualize the results. National averages, as well as searchable results for newsrooms with six or more full-time staff, are available there.

The CAJ will be sharing key findings from the survey on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn today using the hashtag #CAJdiversity. Please feel free to tag us in any posts.

A few key findings from the survey*

  • In total, the survey collected data on 3,873 journalists working in 209 newsrooms.
  • 52.7 percent of all newsroom staff identify as women compared to 46.7 percent who identify as men and 0.7 percent that identify as non-binary.
  • Of the journalists where race data is known, 74.9 percent identify as white compared to 18.6 percent who identify as a visible minority, and 6.4 percent who identify as Indigenous.
  • About nine in 10 newsrooms have no Latin, Middle Eastern, or Mixed Race journalists on staff.
  • About eight in 10 newsrooms have no Black or Indigenous journalists on staff.
  • 81.9 percent of supervisors identify as white, compared to 1.4 percent who identify as Black, 8.3 percent who identify as Asian, and 4.2 percent who identify as Indigenous.
  • 79.6 percent of outlets report having no visible minorities or Indigenous journalists in one of the top three leadership roles in their newsroom.
  • Black and Middle Eastern journalists are twice as likely to work part-time jobs as full-time jobs.
  • Twenty-seven percent of all interns identify as Asian, compared to 9.1 percent of full-time journalists.
  • The racial identity of 25 percent of journalists included in this survey is unknown by their newsroom managers.

*Please note that percentages have been rounded to the nearest tenth, which means some totals may not equal 100 percent.

A 17-page report detailing national results, methodology, data limitations, and a full list of who participated can be found here.

Without a doubt, our industry is undergoing significant changes — from addressing workplace wellbeing and mental health, to uniting against online harassment and infringements on press freedoms, to being transparent about the diversity of our own newsrooms. Each of these issues is a challenge to the very foundations of our craft, and will not be solved without significant work.

Thanks to our engaged members, the CAJ is proud to play a role in facilitating these difficult conversations. But to find long-term solutions to these issues, we must resolve to work together. The work of journalists in Canada, and around the world, are under increasing scrutiny and attack. While it is incumbent upon all of us to find new ways to tell the complex and important stories of our time, it is also our responsibility to be up to the task of addressing our own strengths and weaknesses with thoughtful reflection.

So, while these numbers do not tell a complete story, they do provide a first glimpse at the makeup of Canadian newsrooms from coast to coast to coast.

We know there is much work to be done and we look forward to helping build Canadian newsrooms that are representative of the public they serve. If you are interested in volunteering with the newsroom diversity project please get in touch.

Take care,

— the CAJ team



Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women