Core to Gannett’s purpose is reporting on stories that are reflective of the communities we serve. And Sammy is helping us achieve that goal. She came into the organization with a clear idea of what she wanted to focus on.
“I started with Gannett in being very open about my identity and I’ve felt nothing but acceptance and encouragement to keep being who I am. I came with a lot of story ideas about things I’m passionate about such as LGBTQ+ issues. My editors were extremely receptive to that. That even extended to me being asked to lead a training for USA TODAY Network-Wisconsin newsrooms on LGBTQ+ issues and terminologies only a few weeks after starting. The people here are always willing to listen and learn about topics they’re not too familiar with.”
Sammy’s training and guidance has really resonated with the newsroom, with fellow reporters asking for feedback on their stories to ensure they are accurate and respectful. It’s an example of how Gannett encourages allyship — showing empathy, understanding, and standing alongside oppressed or marginalized groups.
“Allyship is definitely important because I don’t think I could have written stories about LGBTQ+ issues if it weren’t for people who aren’t a part of that community wanting to learn and support these initiatives. Speaking from a coverage perspective, I don’t think we can adequately cover our communities if our newsrooms aren’t diverse. We have to build trust amongst all communities and the workforce.”
Sammy is also the Communications Lead for our Pride Forward Employee Resource Group (ERG). Pride Forward is a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies within Gannett to share their experiences.
“Having the virtual space with over 200 Pride Forward members who live similar shared experiences made me feel a sense of belonging. I feel protected knowing this group of people understands unique issues I may face, and I know my fellow ERG leaders have my back. I’ve been able to connect with people I may not have been able to without the ERG that have propelled my career forward.”