About the API Inclusion Index

The API Inclusion Index, developed by Letrell Deshan Crittenden, Ph.D., is a comprehensive scale that reveals inequitable practices that affect traditionally marginalized communities.

A lack of diversity within newsrooms

A lack of inclusivity or belonging among marginalized newsroom workers

Stereotypical coverage

A lack of engagement

A lack of trust

A lack of understanding of key community assets essential to marginalized communities

A lack of infrastructure designed to support DEIB efforts inside and outside the newsroom

The journalism industry’s historic exclusionary practices and ongoing harms have contributed to a lack of diversity in news organizations, eroding trust in news and the spread of misinformation. With the API Inclusion Index, we’re helping newsrooms integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging into every aspect of their coverage.

This program is uniquely based on research. We review content and interview staff and community members to provide tailored newsroom assessments and recommendations for improvement. The goal of the Index is sustainability, so we run this initiative within a news ecosystem and build long-term relationships with each newsroom.

Impact in Action

One of the first applications of the Index was launched in Pittsburgh, where API worked with five news organizations in the metropolitan region to improve how a news ecosystem covers and engages communities of color. The collaboration was based on the idea that communities often view “the media” as monolithic, meaning it is essential that news organizations assess how they serve traditionally marginalized and underserved communities collectively and on a person-to-person basis.

Inclusion Index report: Assessing the Pittsburgh news ecosystem’s commitment to DEIB

Special Edition: Inside the Inclusion Index

Dr. Letrell Crittenden presenting the API Inclusion Index findings.

API Inclusion Index cohort kicks off plans to improve the Pittsburgh news ecosystem

Get Involved

We continue to expand this program. If you’re interested in bringing this work to your news ecosystem, please email Letrell Crittenden, API’s director of inclusion and audience growth, at letrell.crittenden@pressinstitute.org

The Index is also available for private clients, if you are interested in bringing it to your news organization, visit our training page.