The Fordham Observer’s mission statement to be “the student voice of Lincoln Center” is not fully attainable unless our content and newsroom can accurately reflect the diversity of our campus. As we currently stand, they do not.
This is why we are releasing the Staff Diversity Report, as the first step in a long process of reexamining the current makeup of our staff and structures at The Observer, so that we can take active steps toward this mission. Only transparency can breed accountability, and it is only by acknowledging where we are that we can take steps to get to where we need to be.
As an industry, journalism has historically lacked diversity. We believe our job as editors is to proactively correct this. By creating an inclusive space and instituting equitable systems, we can empower a diverse range of student journalists to pursue what they love and to cover Fordham University in its totality. In this report, you will find a transparent examination of the diversity of our staff — examined along lines of ethnicity, sexuality, financial need and other factors — as well as a reflection on our efforts to move toward a more equitable newsroom and newspaper.
One of the most glaring disparities in the makeup of The Observer e-board is that there are no students who identify as Black or African American, while students of white and Asian descent are over-represented.
Diversity Reports are an emerging trend among student publications across the country. We owe a particular debt to The Daily Northwestern at Northwestern University; The Daily Orange at Syracuse University; The Minnesota Daily at the University of Minnesota; and The Flat Hat at the College of William and Mary for their examples and leadership. Our efforts are not complete, and by releasing this report, our goal is to track our progress on an annual basis so that we can make diversity, equity and inclusion an integral part of The Observer’s mission. Thank you for reading.
Katrina Lambert | Editor-in-Chief
Grace Getman | Managing Editor