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Diversity At AOL In Question

 

AOL celebrates its 25th anniversary by inviting its alumni back to the company's Dulles, Va., campus to celebrate with co-founders Steve Case and Jim Kimsey, and Ted Leonsis, vice chairman emeritus (Credit: Russell Hirshon/AOL)

500 Said to Be Full-Time; Diversity Still a Question

"It’s no secret that AOL is aggressively building out its content strategy," Leena Rao wrote Tuesday on Techcrunch.com. "Today at TechCrunch Disrupt, AOL CEO Tim Armstrongsays that the company now employs 4,000 journalists, 3,500 of which are part-time or freelance. As of last October, the company employed roughly 3,000 journalists.

"That’s pretty decent growth in a matter of six months. Of course, AOL has launched a number of content initiatives, including buying hyperlocal news site Patch and launching content machine Seed.com. Armstrong says that AOL is really 'taking local to a local level.' Patch is now in 53 markets in 5 states, including Connecticut and California. And it’s been reported that AOL will pour $50 million into Patch this year and plans to roll out the model to 'hundreds' of communities in the future.

"We know that Armstrong is not only bullish on niche content but is also looking for AOL to become a content powerhouse. But Armstrong said today that he’s not interested on creating a 'content farm.' He believes the future of AOL’s content strategy is in quality news. Hyper local is clearly a part of this strategy."

AOL is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week with a celebration of commemoration activities that kicked off on May 20 with a global employee volunteer day across 18 cities.

An AOL spokeswoman was unable to say on Wednesday how many of the new journalists AOL has hired have been of color, but the diversity at AOl appears to be uneven.

The AOL News team started life last year as AOL Sphere, with 17 writers and editors, all white. Today it has 19 writers and editors who all appear to be white, but people of color are among the "contributors."

AOL Sports has, however, hired writers of color, such as Terence Moore, Calvin Watkinsand Terrance Harris.

AOL was listed as one of the online companies that did not supply diversity figures this year to the American Society of News Editors for its annual diversity census.

AOL celebrates its 25th anniversary by inviting its alumni back to the company's Dulles, Va., campus to celebrate with co-founders Steve Case and Jim Kimsey, and Ted Leonsis, vice chairman emeritus (Credit: Russell Hirshon/AOL)

 

 

 The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education | 663 Thirteenth St., Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94612 | (510) 891-9202 

 



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