The Future of the Newsroom
Based on the data collected in the Diversity Report, as well as the reflection and contributions of members
of the ‘Prince,’ we have developed the following set of goals to implement over the coming year. We are
publishing them to our readership to encourage transparency and accountability.
- Survey all recently recruited staff and develop a similar report to evaluate the success of our
diversity recruitment efforts, which included reaching out to groups that have been historically
- Hold production open houses to extend access to and mitigate barriers for staffers who have not been to
the newsroom regularly.
- Develop a small group/pod model within each section that exists to empower staffers to share opinions
and feelings of isolation or exclusion.
- Develop affinity groups that are led by staffers, with the goal of creating community around identity
and empowering staffers to take on leadership roles. These affinity groups will have Slack channels to
allow for low time-commitment fostering of community as well as social events to encourage inclusion for
- Develop a more intentional editor recruitment process to break open the ‘black box’ on how roles are
selected and remove barriers to applying for staffers of marginalized communities. This will be done by:
- Creating a more centralized editor recruitment process. All sections will conduct the bulk of
editor recruitment on the same cycle.
- Mandating discussions in section-specific meetings a month prior to turnover to shed light on
what the role entails and breaking down the misconception that there is a stereotypical ‘leader’
or ‘editor’ personality. These discussions will include honest conversation about commitment and
also stress that this is just one way to move up in the organization. Prior to these
discussions, a Google form will be sent out to collect anonymous questions, which can then be
addressed at the section meeting at large.
- At the beginning of the recruitment cycle, create dedicated ‘shadowing days’ for staffers to
come in during production and shadow editors to learn about the day-to-day tasks.
- During ‘shadowing days,’ hold upper management office hours to answer questions on the roles and
responsibilities of upper management.
- Conduct paired coffee chats for staffers to learn about the experiences of editors with similar
affinities to their own.
- Each section should identify individual talent and reach out to 3–5 staffers to encourage
applying. Guidelines for identifying individual talent in an equitable manner will be
disseminated to prevent disproportionate attention being given to extroverted personalities or
Increase the number of non-editor titled positions, empower staff, and allow them to feel agency over
- Increase access of information surrounding the financial stipend program so that the stipend is
available to all sections.
- Where necessary, add assistant or associate titles to spread the burden of leadership across more people
and lower the opportunity cost of working as an editor versus working a paid job.
- Invest in Science coverage. This aims to meet a gap in coverage that is ever-important to cover as
climate change and public health crises shape our lives profoundly. This also encourages the skill-based
recruitment of STEM focused journalists.
- Advertise opportunities to join projects beyond one’s section through Slack channels and masthead
meetings, especially when there is a window for collaboration.
- Create a guide to Princeton beyond campus so writers have background knowledge on what needs to be
covered, given that few people know about the broader town community.
- Sensitive coverage on marginalized communities should not automatically be given to editors; where
possible, it should be pitched to writers in the same manner that other pieces are.
- Develop guidelines that reconsider our notion of ‘objectivity’ and its relationship to fairness. These
guidelines may include standards for choosing which pieces to cover, as such conscious choices do affect
the fairness of our reporting.
- Extend sourcing resources to staffers through the form of a ‘Prince’-wide sourcing spreadsheet. This
enables staffers to gain access to sources outside of their social groups and enables us to track how
often we interview the same sources from specific groups.
- Create a running ‘Prince’-wide coverage suggestion form to solicit input and tips from all staffers.
Tips are not just current events, but can also include suggestions on areas that lack coverage.
- Re-institute ideation spaces for cross-section collaboration during masthead meetings, which can be
supported with the physical record of a dedicated newsroom whiteboard.
- Increase access and intentionality surrounding special projects. This involves:
- Creating a ‘Prince’-wide calendar for special projects, which will enable us to think ahead to
heritage months and anniversaries months or a semester in advance so that staff has the time to
pitch and develop relevant ideas.
- Republishing and compiling relevant content for heritage months.