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Source Tracking Policy

It is WLRN's policy that our journalists collect demographic information from sources who participate in our public affairs and local programming. This is to ensure that we are speaking with experts and guests who represent our entire region and that we can hold ourselves accountable to our principles of inclusivity and diversity. The goal is to be inclusive — not exclusive.

WLRN follows in the footsteps of many public radio stations across the country who follow similar policies, encouraged to prioritize diversity by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Why is source tracking important?

Source diversity tracking allows us to understand, reflect on and be accountable for sourcing decisions. Tracking our sources builds internal understanding of whom we engage with to tell stories and allows us to develop deeper relationships with the broader community we serve. Sources impact the stories we tell, how they are told, and who the news is for.

Serving our audiences means telling stories by hearing from the widest range of people possible. We can’t know how we are doing unless we track that data.

Who are the sources we are using to tell our stories? Are we going to the same people too often in stories without looking for other voices? What types of stories feature what sources? What sources are we reliant on? What sources might we be missing? How can we better reflect and include the communities we cover and serve?

These are questions that can only be answered after collecting demographic data on the sources we use.

What information do we keep a record of?

  • Name of program guest, and the date they participated
  • Area of expertise or outlet, if source is a journalist or with a specific institution
  • Gender identity
  • Racial or ethnic identity 
  • Geography: 

    • Does this show focus on a guest or topic related to Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach or Monroe Counties? 
    • Does it focus on a guest or topic in one specific city?

What about privacy?

We will never share an individual’s information outside of the team that collects it. Aggregate data is what we use to internally review and assess our work.

What are we doing with the data?

Every quarter this source diversity data is shared internally with show production staff to highlight trends. We benchmark it against regional U.S. Census Bureau data.