At the Wartburg Trumpet, our main goal is to represent the student body to the best of our ability. In a time of racial turmoil, it is more important than ever to amplify diverse voices on campus and have them in the newsroom.
Wartburg College has had many slogans in the past, including “Be Orange,” “Hate Has No Place Here,” and most recently “You Belong.” These themes are simple and effective, but breaking down barriers in the newsroom can be anything but that. To do this, we are committed to reaching out to diverse sources for our stories instead of going to those who are comfortable, but may not always be representative of the whole campus. In the 2019-20 academic year, 1,505 students were enrolled, with 21% being either a student of color or international student.
The Trumpet has reported on issues of diversity on campus and across the nation and has featured writers, editors, photographers and designers of different backgrounds. The Trumpet employs 10 students, including one international student and one person of color.
This is not to say that we consider our efforts sufficient. Our future plans include an annual audit of stories to measure our efforts to cover Iowa as a state and campus as a whole — all groups, all ages, all backgrounds. This means asking journalists to be aware and potentially record the sources’ background or ethnicity to ensure there is inclusivity and diversity in our reporting. The Trumpet will continue to seek to train student journalists of all backgrounds and offer positions to journalists of color.
It can be uncomfortable to take a look inward when as journalists we largely look outward. We at The Trumpet would not be living our mission and core values without assessing how we’ve contributed or helped reverse systemic oppression. We will continue to ask those hard questions and will make it a priority to ask young journalists to be self-aware of their unconscious biases and train them to move beyond.
It is when we are uncomfortable that we have the opportunity to learn. We are in that time. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for stories or sources.
This academic year, we are focused to ensure that you as an individual feel represented in our publication. Diversity and inclusion should be woven into every aspect of our lives, so why should the newsroom be any different?
If you have a story to tell, reach out to Silvia Oakland, editor-in-chief and culture & diversity editor, at email@example.com.