Commitment to Diversity
Having a diverse staff and coverage isn't as challenging for some when you're the EIC of a Title I school in an urban area. Different cultures fill the classrooms of Hillsborough and are so easy to access. Even still, there are stories silenced, or we find ourselves becoming lazy, falling into the pattern of covering our own friends over and over again. Here are some practices we have in 506 to keep our coverage diverse.
Encouraging coverage of staff members cultures
I'm lucky to have a staff full of diverse experiences and backgrounds that teach me so much about the world. As editor, I encourage staff members to use their web days to explore something of interest to them, to educate readers about their own backgrounds and cultures, or to explore another culture. At the beginning of the school year, I had everyone write down the names of their 10 closest friends as an "icebreaker." When they were collected, I announced that staff members could only use a person on their list for a quote three times throughout the year. And they could not write a whole story on them. This keeps conflict of interest low and also allows the staff to practice real journalism, interviewing people they have never met before. Here is my staff and the culturally diverse coverage they have collected over the last year.
Lia agreed to cover the black empowerment showcase during black history month for the Instagram. See the post here.
Trayvon stepped out of his comfort zone when writing his first profile ever for the US magazine. Read his story about Miki here
Diego Rodriguez and Jack Wilkins:
Their reviews of pop culture and rap music bring new audiences to hhstoday. Read an example here
Shyam provides a well needed alternative (more conservative) side to the generally more liberal tone of hhstoday. Read a column of his here
Matt, who will be the EIC of the newspaper next year, lived in Columbia for most of his life. His mini profiles discuss cultures role in the subjects lives. He brings his own culture into his writing with his reviews and opinion pieces. Read an example of one of his ig profiles here and his review of Encanto here.
Isha, the copy editor, decided to tackle a sensitive topic in this piece of news coverage. Read it here.
Mercy is consistently adding to the diversity of our coverage with her expansive knowledge of nearly every one in the school. In fact, she came up with more than half the profile ideas for my first Us Magazine. View it here.
Isolde Rayman Moore:
Isolde's profile on Anavut Synakorn discusses the experience of creating artwork that doesn't fit the social norm. Read it here.
For her web day, she decided to discuss her own culture and the traditions of the lunar new year. See the story here.
My co-editor-in-chief was born and raised in Brazil and speaks three languages. She fully comprehends the importance of diversity and embodies that in every story and spread. Read a profile of hers on page 40-41 here