The Foothill Dragon Press

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Introducing Intersections: Increasing diversity in journalism

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Introducing Intersections: Increasing diversity in journalism

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Journalism plays a phenomenally important role in informing the public on untold stories and facts, and, in turn, shaping public opinion. From a local to an international scope, journalism is the agenda setter for what issues we unitedly give our attention to, as well as the watchdog over authority to uphold our sense of justice and democracy. This places the monumental power of influence on those who have the platform to write on and an audience that follows.

With that said, it is a tremendous privilege to be a journalist.

However, there is a gaping discrepancy in the population of those who are journalists and are not.

Despite the fact that our country is becoming increasingly diverse with ethnic minorities making up 41.5 percent of the population, only 16.9 percent of overall staff in American newsrooms are non-white. Individual writers’ experiences and backgrounds influence what types of articles are published by any given publication; Because of this discrepancy, entire swaths of the American population are ignored, misunderstood and erased.

The Foothill Dragon Press is no exception.

Foothill is 55 percent white. We can’t ignore that the other 45 percent of students are people of color. Since our publication’s founding in 2009, that 45 percent has not continuously been represented in our staff.

Thus, it is critical for The Foothill Dragon Press to implement a new section, called Intersections, that gives voice to minority students who weren’t properly represented in the past.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to recognize that diversity is not just about race and ethnicity. Where are the LGBTQ+ writers? The low-income writers? The disabled writers? The non-Christian writers? And all other writers of minority backgrounds?

A newsroom lacking diversity impacts what content we, as a publication, choose to cover and what students we choose to interview when attempting to provide student insight. Additionally, it impacts what experiences we can and can’t understand, and thus do or do not deem as issues worthy of coverage.

Without a diverse staff, we can’t inform—and haven’t informed—our readers to the best of our ability.

We can’t claim that we serve or represent all students.

For these effects and their ramifications, we apologize.

The purpose of starting Intersections is to ensure a safe space for underrepresented and marginalized voices for the present and near future. Ultimately, Intersections (minority voices) should not be separate from what we perceive as standard News, Opinions, Arts & Entertainment or any other section. However, it is mainstream media that creates a division between standard coverage and coverage that pertains specifically to marginalized communities. We realized that when we don’t specifically allocate a space for these perspectives to be written, we’re complying with the current lack of attention and progression, and nothing will change.

We envision Intersections to share stories that are significant to minority and marginalized students—whether they’re first-person reflections or investigative documentaries of campus experiences; opinion pieces on less mainstream ideas; advice and opportunities specific to helping identity-induced trauma or hardships; or features on unnoticed people who have made a huge impact on minority communities.

We hope these stories will not only give marginalized students a place for dialogue amongst themselves but also help people who are not a part this community to become supportive allies through gaining understanding and respect.

We acknowledge that because The Foothill Dragon Press isn’t as diverse as it could be at the moment, there are students who are less inclined to apply (or feel less welcomed to do so) because they don’t see people like themselves on the staff. It’s a cyclical, systemic issue that could take a long time to be fully resolved, but this is where we start.

We encourage all students who want to share their unique perspectives to apply for Intersections for the next 2019-2020 school year. Applications will open on Feb. 13. In mid-February, we will be visiting all 9th, 10th and 11th grade Foothill English classes to explain the application process for The Foothill Dragon Press. We will further explain and answer any questions then. Feel free to comment below or email us.

In the meantime, we welcome all students to write columns to be published under Intersections (email [email protected] to submit a column).

Attempts to rectify the disparity in representation must begin in local newsrooms, like our own. The beginning of Intersections is only a start that will feed into a more well-rounded publication and well-represented student body. We welcome all who are interested in joining us.

-Jimena Perez, Intersections Editor 2019-20 and Rachel Chang, Social Media/Science Editor 2018-19

What do you think?
About the Contributors
Jimena Perez, Writer

A strong believer that, "un taco al día es la llave de la alegría."

7 Comments

7 Responses to “Introducing Intersections: Increasing diversity in journalism”

  1. No on February 7th, 2019 1:54 pm

    Maybe if the Dragon Press didn’t pick their friends to be in the program this wouldn’t be a problem.

     
  2. Anon on February 14th, 2019 12:59 am

    How would you get more minorities to join? Through force? What if people just don’t want to? Why do the demographics even matter? Not everyone wants to even be a journalist. It’s not all about race you know. What is there to apologize for? Why must there be representation in literally everything? I’m not even white nor male and I’m saying this.

     
  3. Mack on February 14th, 2019 12:42 pm

    “Furthermore, it’s crucial to recognize that diversity is not just about race and ethnicity. Where are the LGBTQ+ writers? The low-income writers? The disabled writers? The non-Christian writers? And all other writers of minority backgrounds?”

    So….are you telling us that the majority of your writers are Christian??? I highly doubt that. Didn’t you just state in the beginning paragraph how important it is to be “FACTUAL”??

    “Journalism plays a phenomenally important role in informing the public on untold stories and facts, and, in turn, shaping public opinion.”

    Emmm…..it would seem there is no review board at the Dragon Press.

     
  4. Anon on February 15th, 2019 9:12 pm

    “Where are the LGBTQ+ writers? The low-income writers? The disabled writers? The non-Christian writers? And all other writers of minority backgrounds?”. What about the NBA where it’s 74.4 percent black 23.3 percent white, 1.8 percent Latino, and 0.2 percent Asian? (http://nebula.wsimg.com/6e1489cc3560e1e1a2fa88e3030f5149?AccessKeyId=DAC3A56D8FB782449D2A&disposition=0&alloworigin=1) Nobody is complaining that the NBA isn’t diverse and the reason for that is that it DOESN’T MATTER. Maybe instead of focusing on what race or gender the person applying is, you should focus on how well they write.

     
  5. Anonymous on February 15th, 2019 9:16 pm

    Why does everyone at Foothill make it about race and LGBT, it is hypocritical for people to say that it is wrong for us to not respect their views but then you talk bad about my views and how my views are wrong. Maybe gain some common sense and stop making fake news. Stop trying to force people into your views with fake facts and with topics that aren’t even a problem to begin with.

     
  6. Venturan on February 19th, 2019 11:45 pm

    “journalism is the agenda setter for what issues we unitedly give our attention to…”

    Oh yeah? And where do we go to cast our vote for this agenda we “unitedly” give our attention to?

    Summary: Journalism is a holy calling and the vanguard of democracy…but it’s also chock full of inveterate racists who won’t hire minorities.

    Stellar message.

    Want a quick lesson in what’s wrong with this academic direction? Here you go: https://youtu.be/97FuO-hEhQo

    You’re welcome.

     
  7. Josiah Guzik on February 20th, 2019 1:48 pm

    I like the idea of minority students having a voice on the FDP. I applaud Jimena for opening the door for the Spanish language articles that have been posted this year. I might also point out that the frustration expressed in the previous comments is a clear indicator that these conversations need to take place and that underrepresented students’ voices need to be heard alongside the authors of the anonymous comments above.

     

Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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Introducing Intersections: Increasing diversity in journalism