The Daily Northwestern Recruitment | Spring 2020

Diversity and Inclusion at the daily

We've worked on making diversity and inclusion a much larger priority and focus for staff over the past few quarters. In terms of racial and gender demographics, 12 of our 28 Spring 2020 editors are students of color and over half are women. We still have a lot of work to do — and we’re doing it. In the last year, we've taken a number of steps to keep moving in the right direction.

Here's some of what's been done:

  • We've started holding info sessions specifically targeted toward students of color and LGBTQ+ identifying students with staff members holding those identities.
  • Last year, we hosted affinity dinners for staff members sharing marginalized identities. In the past, we've held separate student of color, LGBTQ+ and low-income dinners on different days and plan on continuing them to provide opportunities for marginalized staffers to build connection.
  • In 2018, we wrote our first staffwide Diversity Report, addressing our staff's makeup, where we're at with that and our coverage and what we need to keep working on. We'll continue to do it annually.
  • Editor-in-Chief Marissa Martinez created our Diversity and Inclusion Team last winter which compilies weekly newsletters for staff members drawing on national coverage, personal narratives from marginalized journalists and statistics from organizations like the American Society of News Editors. Team members facilitate staffwide dialogues on each. The topics have ranged from race and gender dynamics in journalism to inclusive newspaper design practices to queer issues in media.
  • Our editorial board sits down and brainstorms ideas for coverage of marginalized communities on a weekly basis.
  • All editors are required to compile coverage statistics on the types and topics of stories published and the breakdown of sources' demographics on a weekly basis. We'll check in mid-quarter, notice what holes exist and correct our coverage.
Throughout my first year The Daily, I definitely knew what it felt like to not feel like the newsroom was an inclusive place as the only black writer on all of our staff. I never saw anyone who looked like me represented in any editing positions. We've made strides over the past year and a half — both in terms of the identities represented among staff and the types of stories we cover — and while those haven't come without challenges, we're genuinely committed to keep putting in additional work to make this a place where everyone can feel welcome and safe.

- Troy Closson, former editor in chief

If this is something you're passionate about and have questions/concerns, want to learn more or get involved, reach out to Diversity & Inclusion Chairs Sneha Dey and Marissa Martinez at [email protected].