This past Wednesday, the Trinitonian newsroom celebrated Student Press Freedom Day, a day of action organized by the Student Press Law Center in recognition of the necessity of independent, uncensored student press (like us). It was fitting because it happened to fall on the same night we put the paper together — our production night.
Student journalism is important. We hold the administration, the faculty and everyone else on campus accountable. We record Trinity’s history as it happens. We provide vital experiential learning opportunities for our staff.
But what is a campus newsroom if it doesn’t represent its student body? According to Pew Research Center, newsrooms are less diverse than any other industry. They are more white and more male than all other occupations.
Of course, those numbers are different in younger newsrooms, but not by much. Younger newsrooms are more female, but they aren’t any less white.
The Trinitonian tries to be hyper-aware of diversity in all aspects of our publication: in our staff, in our coverage, in the way we receive feedback and how we alter the way we function. We’re striving to provide a space for all members of our community because it’s better for everyone.
Our news editor Kayla Padilla put it best in her column from last semester: “Our campus is ever-evolving and requires voices that can challenge what we believe is the norm.” A more diverse, representative newsroom produces better journalism and better journalists.
Without Natalia, who would write about the importance of women in film? Without Natasha, who would bring Indian cooking and personal experience into our hyper-local news publication? Without staff majoring outside of communications, who would suggest we cover new things going on in STEM? Or sports?
Diversity in newsrooms is essential, and it’s not just a matter of hiring more underrepresented students. It’s a deeper commitment than reaching some sort of hiring quota. It will take time to fix.
And that’s why student journalism is important. We are the first step in changing the industry. We take part in shaping the next generation of journalists with every issue that we print. We are the future of journalism.
Change starts from the bottom up, and we’re working to alter the face of journalism starting with our very own newsroom. By providing a mode for all to share their voice, we work towards a future of journalism that includes everyone.