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AFP to appoint a Diversity Editor

Agence France-Presse is to create the position of diversity editor at its Paris headquarters to increase the representation of women and the diversity of its coverage in text, video, photo and graphics.

By creating this position in the editor-in-chief’s department, the AFP management has implemented one of the main recommendations of a report on diversity at the agency written by one of its journalists, Jessica Lopez.

AFP’s Global News Director Phil Chetwynd said:  “It is essential for AFP’s credibility that its editorial staff and the content they produce better reflect the diversity of the world in which we live”.

“It is vital that we address some of our weaknesses in this area with proactive measures”.

Chetwynd welcomed the report as “a sensitive and nuanced look at a complex global issue”.

The new Deputy Standards and Diversity Editor will be tasked with ensuring that the agency respects its editorial rules on covering gender, diversity and discrimination, raising awareness among staff, developing training and monitoring progress.

This new position will complement the work carried out by the agency’s Standards and Ethics Editor Eric Wishart.

In parallel with this work on content, AFP has set as one of its human resources priorities the development of diversity within its staff and management. This policy is based in particular on the recommendations of a diversity committee that was set up in May 2021 and comprises 14 employees from throughout the AFP network. 

AFP’s management has already adopted several of the committee’s recommendations, including giving priority to scholarship holders for work-study contracts, and launching two new scholarships aimed at identifying new talent, one for Arabic-speaking journalists in the Middle East and North Africa, and the other for Spanish-speaking journalists in Latin America.

These scholarships are in addition to existing ones in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and France. The most recent, the Michèle Léridon Scholarship for Diversity, is organised in partnership with the French audio-visual and digital regulatory body Arcom, and La Chance, an association that promotes diversity in the media. The scholarship is named after former AFP global news director Michèle Léridon, who died last year.

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