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A project of the Manship School of Mass Communication, LSU

About the Forum

The Media Diversity Forum has now passed 15 years as a contributor to the important national discussion about diversity. As a project of the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University, its 2002 beginning was modest with one faculty member and one graduate student. They recognized a void in the availability of sites that pulled together research about diversity in the professional media and in higher education. At first, the forum concentrated almost exclusively on development of a diversity database. That goal has not changed although the focus has expanded to include special commentary and reports from conferences and workshops; news and analysis from scholarly publications, media and national diversity organizations; sample media diversity syllabi for college faculty members; original research sponsored by the forum; and a calendar of events and opportunities related to diversity. We also serve as the host site for one unit of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) – the Minorities and Communication Division.

In addition, the forum has broadened its definition of diversity to include multiple racial and ethnic groups, gender, sexual orientation and religion.

This expansion of the forum’s content over the years has been made possible as that original staff of two grew into the current group of 14 notable scholars and professionals from around the country. These volunteer editors weekly contribute to the national discussion of diversity, serving as a resource for scholars and professionals. We will not list these editors in this space, but we invite you to browse through the “Who We Are” section to see their credentials and the types of content they provide. As a result of their efforts, we know the forum today and in the future will continue its development as a broad and sophisticated leader of analysis of a topic that continues to be recognized for its social importance.

The forum’s historical development has depended on the dedication of a large number of contributors to whom we are deeply grateful. Please permit an expression of thanks to two administrative forces. Jack Hamilton and Jerry Ceppos, as deans of the Manship School, provided counsel and financial support when it was needed. But most particularly the forum is indebted to Adrienne Moore, founding director of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, for her intellectual contributions and encouragement as we tried to develop what was then a limited concept.

Today, the forum continues to seek guidance and fresh content, and it offers the site to colleagues around the country who are interested in sharing their work about diversity. We welcome submissions from scholars and professionals – your own research or any item you see that you believe contributes to our goals. We have set for ourselves a broad mandate. The forum is based on the ideas that representative and diverse coverage can determine the success of the news industry, and better journalism/mass communication education will help achieve this goal. Please help us in our efforts to be comprehensive by sharing research and either academic or professional news items.

We encourage you to explore all this site has to offer, and we welcome your feedback to enhance both the site and its goals. Your ideas, suggestions and comments will help us change and adjust to meet your needs. Send an email any time to Ralph Izard at izard@lsu.edu.

Thank you for stopping by. We’re looking forward to your return visit.

Warmest Regards,
Ralph Izard

Media Diversity Forum
LSU Manship School of Mass Communication,
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

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