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Diversity, author audit

Inkstick Media Diversity and Inclusion, 2020 and 2021

Inkstick is committed to changing the face of foreign policy. Here’s how it’s going.

Words: Inkstick Editorial Team
Pictures: Clay Banks

At Inkstick Media, we are dedicated to elevating diverse voices and perspectives in global security. As a nonprofit, we are grateful to the foundations and people who make our work possible, but above all, we are grateful to our writers for trusting us to edit and publish their work. Since our launch in 2017, and even in just the last year, we have grown exponentially: In 2020, we published 170 pieces while in 2021, that jumped to 454. But what’s more, in 2020, 9.8% of these pieces were solicited while in 2021, 31.6% of our authors were asked to write. This shift reflects our editorial team’s dedication to carving out the necessary time to tap underrepresented voices for publication.

In 2021, we also changed our look. While in the past Inkstick’s reported work had been classified as either “article” or “essay,” we’ve given this work its own home. This commitment is consistent with our goal of elevating diverse and underrepresented voices and providing a growing home to those stories that can fall through the cracks. As our democracy continues to struggle with the spread of misinformation, we’ve also reclassified our “articles” as “commentary” in an effort to shine a brighter light on the important firewall between news and opinion.

Inkstick is an active member of OrgsInSolidarity and Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy and has committed to meeting or exceeding a number of goals with regard to representation in the pages of its magazine and on its podcast, Things That Go Boom. These include goals of at least 50% female-identifying representation and at least 30% people of color.

To ensure that we are holding ourselves accountable to our goal of diversity and inclusion, Inkstick’s editorial team conducted a survey of authors who wrote for us in 2020 and 2021. This survey went out to every author who wrote for Inkstick in a given year and was open for four weeks.

Below are the survey results:


In 2020, 54.5% of our authors were women, while in 2021, that went down to 47%. However, in 2020, none of our authors identified as non-binary while in 2021, 3% did.


In 2020, 68.7% of our authors identified as White (European), while in 2021, that number decreased to 59.4%. Our Black authors increased from 2.6% to 7.4%, while our Asian (South and East Asian) went from 6.1% each to 8% and 6.3% respectively. In 2021, 3% were Hispanic or Latinx.


Our “No Religion” category decreased from 45.2% to 41.1%, while our Christian, Muslim, and Hindu categories all went up.


In 2020, 16.5% of our authors identified as LGBTQ+, which increased to 17.1% in 2021.


We asked all of our authors if they identified as first-generation college students or as first or second-generation immigrants. Both numbers increased. First-generation college students grew from 16.5% to 17.7% while first or second-generation immigrants went from 25.2% to 28.6%.


From 2020: 

“Thank you for your commitment to equity!”

“You folks are doing a stellar job — if there’s one outlet that is truly living up to showcasing diverse voices and viewpoints, it’s Inkstick.”

“I appreciate a media outlet like Inkstick which will run pieces that might be hard to find a home for otherwise. Inkstick is smart and hip without being ‘cute’ and has a great layout and style that is easy on the eyes and comfortable to read. Don’t change that!”

From 2021:

“I appreciate Inkstick’s work in showcasing young and diverse — all thoughtful — voices.”

“Thanks for including ‘Sikh’ as an option on page 1 of this form :-)”

“I have written for about a dozen outlets and, by far, Inkstick has the best editorial comments.”

“Keep up the great work and thank you for everything you do!”

As we continue to expand, we’re grateful for all of YOU: for pitching, writing, reading, and supporting us. And if you wrote for us, look out for the 2022 author audit early next year.

Inkstick Editorial Team

Hey there!

You made it to the bottom of the page! That means you must like what we do. In that case, can we ask for your help? Inkstick is changing the face of foreign policy, but we can’t do it without you. If our content is something that you’ve come to rely on, please make a tax-deductible donation today. Even $5 or $10 a month makes a huge difference. Together, we can tell the stories that need to be told.