Ariel Zych

Ariel Zych, of Science Friday, will build a sensitivity toolkit to assist newsrooms in sourcing, selecting, compensating, and working with editors whose responsibility is to prevent the marginalization of specific communities and identities. 

Zych is the director of audience at public radio and nonprofit media outlet Science Friday, where she is building a sensitivity toolkit that guides newsrooms in finding and employing editors with expertise in preventing the marginalization of specific communities and identities.

“It can be hard or impossible to fully staff all the identities we treat with our journalism,” Zych said, emphasizing that smaller organizations with limited staff and resources can still work to accurately represent the communities they serve with the help of sensitivity professionals. “…And this is not only an editing role. It can be from conception to publication to audience engagement — sensitivity plays a role in every part of a story.”

Zych highlighted that radio sources like Science Friday tend to be ranked high in trustworthiness among the public compared to most other media at a time when trust in media remains at a historic low. This dynamic, she said, makes radio an ideal platform for initiatives like this sensitivity toolkit, which could help other news organizations build a stronger connection to the various cultures and identities present in their communities.