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July 25, 2023

Guardian creates seven journalist jobs as part of ‘restorative justice’ plan after slavery link found

The roles include dedicated correspondents for the Caribbean, Africa and South America.

By Charlotte Tobitt

The Guardian is creating seven new journalist jobs to improve its coverage of “underrepresented regions and communities” in the UK and the US, as well as the Caribbean, South America and Africa.

The publisher’s decision comes after carrying out research that linked the founders of the Manchester Guardian, which later became The Guardian, with the transatlantic slave trade.

Its owner, the Scott Trust, now intends to fund a number of proposals for restorative justice over the next decade.

These will also include community projects, fellowship programmes, the expansion of The Guardian Foundation’s journalism training bursary scheme and education initiatives, Guardian News and Media said on Tuesday.

The new roles include three dedicated correspondents to cover the Caribbean, Africa and South America, each covering “daily news and analysis, features, multimedia content and coverage for other non-news sections, particularly stories affecting African-descended populations”.

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A UK community affairs correspondent based in Manchester will focus on Black, Asian and ethnic-minority populations and racial justice issues, while a UK health and inequalities correspondent will look in particular at the health industry, including the NHS.

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In the US, two race and equity reporters will cover “race, identity and inequality for both US and international audiences, including stories on culture, health, education, social justice, politics, religion, education, and the legacies of American slavery”. One of the roles will also prioritise stories about black people in southern states, in particular the Gullah Geechee people – descendants of enslaved West and Central Africans.

Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said: “These new roles will further boost our coverage of underrepresented regions and communities all over the world, in North and South America, the Caribbean, the UK and across Africa.

“They will be reporting on the urgent stories and issues that affect societies in those regions today, aiming to cover these populations in a depth and breadth rarely seen in the Western media.

“I look forward to the positive changes that all these positions will make to the Guardian’s overall coverage.”

The Scott Trust’s proposed programme of restorative justice set out the intention to create these roles in March, saying it would “fund an increase in the scope and ambition of Guardian reporting on the Caribbean, South America and Africa, and on Black communities in the UK and US. The Guardian will also explore new editorial formats and products that better serve Black audiences.”

Separately, The Guardian said it was planning to open more editorial vacancies in the coming months, including editing and sub-editing roles.

It has also created 11 new editorial roles with the launch of a new European edition of its website coming in the autumn.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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