Prolific political columnist Molly Ivins said, “It is the stories we don’t get, the ones we miss, pass over, fail to recognize, don’t pick up on, that will send us to hell.”
In our news coverage and our commentary, diversity is crucial. Whose perspective are we leaving out? Whose story has not been heard? Does our work support anti-racism and inclusivity? We must refuse the single story narrative, as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells us in her TED talk. And we must lift up the voices of those who have been voiceless for so long.
Although media as an institution is characterized by its quick tempo, that does not mean we should be careless in our approach. For every news report, every opinion column, and every podcast, we should consider our work with intentionality and diligence. We should develop the habit of asking who we are including and excluding from the conversation — our journalism and our character will be better for it.
In 2021, we focused on the inclusivity of our community and coverage. Newsrooms have been historically male and white, and ours was no exception. With the start of the 145th Board, we committed to this goal and formed the inaugural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) board. Including members from most sections of the ‘Prince’, the board took steps to integrate DEIB in every facet of our organization. This report is one of those steps.
We put together this report in order to critically analyze the demographics and experiences of our community. In late spring of 2021, 223 members of the ‘Prince’ community completed a comprehensive survey. We used this data to host a staff-wide town hall in fall 2021 and set goals for our organization moving forward.
As you will see below, we have a long way to go, but we hope this report and our efforts thus far will serve as a foundation for future boards and future journalists.
We are grateful to Ana Pranger, Anika Maskara, Benjamin Cai, and Mollika Jai Singh for their tireless work on this report. We are also thankful to Anita Ortiz ’93 for her guidance and mentorship, and to The Daily Northwestern and The Daily Bruin for conducting surveys that served as models for this project. Finally, we appreciate the countless ‘Prince’ members who contributed their time and energy to making this project possible.
Note: Since conducting the survey, the ‘Prince’ has accepted over 150 new staff members. Some staff members who filled out the survey have also since graduated.
Tanvi Nibhanupudi, Chairperson of the Inaugural DEIB Board
Emma Treadway, Editor-in-Chief of the 145th Managing Board