An update on The Daily Californian’s efforts to address diversity

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Joshua Jordan/Senior Staff

A year ago, The Daily Californian affirmed its commitment to addressing a lack of newsroom diversity. New organizations across the country have grappled with the implications of having predominantly white and male reporters, editors and managers. Today, we want to update our readers on the progress we’ve made.

In the past few months, we have instituted a number of initiatives to create an office open to all and to expand the scope of our coverage.

  • In September, our Arts & Entertainment department instituted a queer media beat. The arts journalists on this beat focus their coverage on queer artists and their representation in culture and media.

  • In October, our opinion department launched Cal in Color, a weekly opinion column written by outside contributors dedicated to exploring issues faced by people of color in Berkeley. This project was inspired by the Michigan Daily, which launched a similar section, Michigan in Color in 2014.

  • Also in October, the Daily Cal revived its internal diversity committee, which aims to increase the diversity of both our staff and our coverage. We recognize that, as Berkeley’s paper of record, it is incumbent upon us to accurately represent the viewpoints of our community and respond to its concerns. To that end, the committee serves as a sounding board for editors, a point of contact for identity-related reporting and a forum for expressing long-term developmental goals.

  • In January, our news department hired, for the first time, race and diversity beat reporters to expand our coverage on marginalized communities in Berkeley.

In our ongoing efforts to be more transparent with the community we cover, the Daily Cal will be releasing its hiring demographic data. Our readers deserve to know who is telling Berkeley’s story.

As we move forward through 2018, our diversity committee and department editors will continue to work to institutionalize changes that shift the focus of our coverage and ensure marginalized communities can call the Daily Cal their paper.

Karim Doumar is the editor in chief and president. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @dailycalkarim.

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