Gannett is a mass-media company centered near Washington, D.C. that controls a number of newspapers around the country. It’s flagship paper, USA Today, serves as the backbone of a network that includes multiple local papers like the Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, The Tennessean, The Des Moines Register, and Louisville’s Courier-Journal.
Though the traditional newspapers business is a bit of a dinosaur, Gannett is top dog in the business, having a greater daily circulation than any of its competitors. It also leans painfully left politically – a corporate decision that has likely sped continued drops in subscriptions in more conservative parts of the country.
But given Gannett’s well-known tilt, it likely came as no surprise to see the publishing giant fall prostrate before the new cultural fad of corporate fealty to the god of “diversity.” USA Today Editor-in-Chief Nicole Carroll signaled the virtue on social media:
Nicole is a newspaper editor. She works for a newspaper publisher. These are people who work with words; people for whom words are their work. They don’t haphazardly choose them. Understanding that, first consider the important “diversity” that Gannett is demonstrating its commitment to here: gender, racial, and ethnic. Now consider the more important “diversity” that Gannett is omitting: intellectual and philosophical.
I’d like to believe that there was a time when men would have been shamed to tell others that their commitment to diversity was only skin-deep. It’s a jarringly superficial and insultingly trivial approach to engaging humanity, to be sure. It’s also a fantastic advertisement that quality and depth is not what your newspaper (chain) is interested in offering.
A National Basketball Association that sought racial and gender parity would not be one putting the best product on the court. And a newspaper that hires its writers based on the same will fall similarly short. Further, how does a company whose own leftwing ideological dogma teaches the existence of innumerable genders plan on achieving “parity” amongst them all anyway?
Look, I understand this is a cause de jour right now, and that in the echo chamber of critical theory that these progressive media overlords inhabit, this is how you strike a blow for “justice.”
But that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? True diversity would be inviting voices outside your echo chamber, voices that don’t toe the party line, voices that challenge the groupthink that exists in Gannett corporate boardrooms.
If you’ve ever had the occasion to read one of their subsidiaries, you know that is the kind of diversity Gannett systematically rejects. It doesn’t look like that will be changing any time soon.