The Intercept’s 2022 Annual Staff Demographic Survey

At the time of the 2022 survey, 60.5 percent of our staff identified as white and 35 percent identified as people of color.

In 2020, The Intercept began conducting an annual staff survey in order to assess how we’re faring in our efforts to increase the newsroom’s demographic diversity. We are now making available the results of our third and latest demographic assessment, which was conducted in April and May 2022.

This year, we added three new questions with the hope of capturing our staff members’ class backgrounds as well as their experiences with debt and means-tested government assistance. With these additions, our survey consisted of 20 questions that were sent to 49 full-time U.S. employees and fellows. We saw a slight decrease in participation from last year; the survey was completed by 88 percent of those who received it. As in previous years, the survey was both voluntary and anonymous. 

According to the 2022 results, 60.5 percent of our staff identify as white and 35 percent identify as people of color, with the remainder declining to self-identify. These percentages are similar to last year’s survey results, in which 60 percent of our staff identified as white and 34 percent identified as people of color.

The Intercept’s long-term goal is to increase the percentage of people of color in the newsroom to 50 percent, and to raise the number of staff members who come from backgrounds underrepresented in journalism. 

The Intercept is continuing to implement our “double Rooney Rule,” which requires at least two candidates from currently underrepresented groups in journalism to be interviewed for all open positions. We have also sought to diversify our pool of freelance contributors via our freelancer database, which we began publicizing this past year. The database captures a diverse range of contributors and serves as a resource for Intercept editors looking to commission stories or solicit pitches.

The 2022 Annual Survey

The responses to our annual anonymous survey are being presented as percentages in three categories: managers, non-managers, and total staff. We are including all racial demographics in our final report, including ones lacking any representation among our staff. We rounded to the first decimal point, so some percentages do not add up to 100.

All questions offered the option “prefer not to say.” Some questions also allowed responders to fill in individual answers; these answers will not be made public in order to protect the anonymity of responders.


Of all staffers, 48.8% are female, 48.8% are male, and 7% are nonbinary. Women are a slight majority (51.9%) among non-managers, while men are the slight majority (53.3%) among managers. All nonbinary staffers are non-managers, and at the time the survey was completed, no one at The Intercept identified as transgender.


Roughly one-third of Intercept employees (34.9%) are in the 30-to-39 age range. The next most common age bracket — from 40 to 49 years old — comprises 27.9% of our staff. Staffers between 20 and 29 years old increased from 18% to 20.9% this year. Slightly more than one-half of our managers (53.3%) are between 40 and 49. The largest percent of non-managers (37%) are between ages 30 and 39, and one-third of non-managers (33.3%) are between ages 20 and 29.

Race and Ethnicity

The chart below represents the racial and ethnic breakdown of all Intercept staffers. The majority of staff members (60.5%) identify as white and a combined 35% identify as either Black, East Asian, Latinx, Middle Eastern, South Asian, or two or more races. No one at The Intercept identifies as Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.

The chart below features data on 11.6% of the staff who answered the race and ethnicity question with “two or more.” Those who did not choose that specific answer were asked to answer this question with “not applicable.”

Sexual Orientation

The number of Intercept staffers who identify as LGBPQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Queer, or Asexual) increased from 18 to 23.3% since last year.


A majority of The Intercept staff attended public high schools (65.1%).

Over half of staff members obtained their bachelor’s degrees at private institutions (58.1%).

A majority (55.8%) of employees do not have an advanced degree, while 25.6% have a master’s degree from a private university.

Out of all Intercept staff, 16.3% were first-generation college students. A total of 18.5% of Intercept non-managers are first-generation college students; a total of 13.3% of managers fall in that category.


A total of 23.3% of our staff are first-generation immigrants, and 27.9% have parents who are immigrants.

Family Class Background

The highest percentage (37.2%) of Intercept employees identified their family class background as upper-middle class, with nearly half (46.7%) of managers selecting upper-middle class. The second-highest demographic bracket was middle class (25.6%), followed by working class (20.9%).

Government Assistance and Debt

This year, The Intercept introduced the two following yes-or-no questions about socioeconomic background:

Have you or your immediate family ever received means-tested government assistance, such as free/reduced lunch, earned income tax credit, food stamps, or Medicaid?

Do you or a member of your household spend more than 20 percent of your income paying down debt including student debt and medical debt (but not including a mortgage)?

More than one-third of Intercept employees (34.9%) said either they or their immediate family had received some form of means-tested government assistance, and nearly half (46.7%) of managers said the same. Roughly one-fifth of the entire staff (20.9%) said a member of their household spends more than 20 percent of their income paying down debt.


Among all employees, 14% identify as having a disability.

Time at First Look Media, The Intercept’s Parent Company

A total of 34.9% of Intercept employees have worked at First Look Media, The Intercept’s parent company, for more than five years.

One-third of non-managers (33.3%) have been with The Intercept for more than five years, and another one-third (33.3%) have been with The Intercept for one to three years. All managers have been with the company longer than a year.

Years Working in Journalism

A little less than a third of Intercept employees (30.2%) have worked in journalism between five and 10 years, while 25.6% of our newsroom has between one and five years of experience in newsrooms.

Another 23.2% of our staff newsroom have worked in journalism between 10 and 20 years, and 16.2% of our employees have more than 21 years of experience. Just 2.3% of our staff have one year or less of journalism experience.

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