In our commitment to fostering a newsroom that is representative of our 5C community, TSL’s Spring 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) desk has continued to document the demographics of TSL’s newsroom in a biannual semester-in-review. As DEI editors, we strive for diversity of identity and thought in every step leading up to a published issue. We remain committed to holding our organization accountable and devoted to transparency in this process, and in that vein, we are releasing our findings from our staff demographics survey.
At the beginning of this semester, we set out to increase inclusion and better communication between TSL staffers and readers. In these efforts, we hope to make our paper continually more accessible to everyone in the Claremont community. In this final issue, we’d like to share three of our biggest accomplishments from this semester.
One of our objectives this semester was to continue to train TSL staffers on inclusive storytelling, a practice that initially began in the fall. Through this initiative, we inform reporters, writers, editors and our media team on the best practices to ensure our coverage is respectful, resonant and accurate.
We also saw an opportunity to increase TSL’s connection with affinity groups around the campuses. We’ve worked diligently on curating a contact sheet with the names of 5C affinity groups and their leadership to make coverage on affinity groups more authentic and accessible for reporters.
Our third major project this semester was an Inclusive Language Guide. Informed by our standard AP style practices for journalism, our language guide aims to address the evolving landscape of identity with an eye towards sensitivity around disabilities, gender, race, religion and health. We sincerely hope that our Inclusive Language Guide can lead to more accurate and empathetic storytelling from TSL for many semesters to come.
Out of TSL’s 106 staffers, 67 responded to our semesterly survey which collected demographic data, such as college affiliation, graduation year, racial identity, gender identity and financial aid status, along with qualitative feedback on how TSL can improve the work environment and become more representative of the 5C community. Around a third of our respondents were on TSL’s senior staff, with the rest consisting of staff and contributing writers.
Compared to last semester, we have a higher proportion of White, Latinx, East Asian, South Asian and Southeast Asian staffers, and a decreased percentage of American Indian and Alaskan Native staffers.
Similar to last semester, nearly three-fourths of staffers identify as women and roughly 16, six, one and one percent identify as men, nonbinary, agender and genderqueer, respectively.
In addition, 10 percent of our staffers are international students, 10 percent are first generation, low-income students and nine percent of staffers have a disability.
TSL reports on both Claremont undergraduate and graduate institutions, however this semester the staff did not have any graduate students. A majority of staffers, roughly 67 percent, attend Pomona College, while 22, 14, 14 and one percent of staffers are from Scripps College, Pitzer College,
Claremont McKenna College and Harvey Mudd College respectively.
Important qualitative feedback was also taken from the demographic survey, including critical analyses on the lack of diversity within TSL senior staff and a desire for more news coverage of ethnic and cultural events around campus. To address these concerns, we propose that the senior staff hiring process be conducted through a DEI lens. We also suggest that a calendar be made for events from across the 5C community to ensure a story doesn’t go by unreported.
All responses to the survey are invaluable to our goal of creating a truly collaborative newspaper and are taken into serious consideration by the DEI desk.