In 2018, Verde published an editorial detailing the publication’s commitment to diversifying its sourcing and stories. The staff pledged to seek out underrepresented voices by using a diversity audit, a form used to track the age, race, and gender of Verde’s sources.
The audit showed that adults and upperclassmen were overrepresented, while stories rarely featured underclassmen. Over half of Verde’s sources were white and Black, Latinx and Pacific Islander sources were scarce.
In recent issues, we have made notable progress — increasing the frequency of our diversity audit from once per semester to after the completion of each issue, and using its results to guide our sourcing and coverage.
However, many of the problems identified in the 2018 editorial are still present.
A vast majority of our sources are still upperclassmen (89.8% of students appearing in our most recent issue). Severe underrepresentation of Black, Pacific Islander and Latinx sources persists. We still see uniformity in the perspectives shared by staff members as our staff continues to be overwhelmingly white and Asian.
Severe underrepresentation of Black, Pacific Islander and Latinx sources persists. We still see uniformity in the perspectives shared by staff members as our staff continues to be overwhelmingly white and Asian.
Though we cannot change the makeup of our staff for the remainder of the year, we will actively seek out recruiting artists and photographers from underrepresented communities to contribute to our magazine, allowing us to represent different voices visually.
We are hopeful that the piloted intersection of AVID’s English curriculum with the standards of beginning journalism will allow future Verde staff to include more diverse perspectives, especially those of first-generation students and those with lower socioeconomic status.
We will be updating our diversity audit to include questions about the reporting process, in addition to final outcomes. This will allow us to quantify our staff’s efforts in promoting equity. We will start publicizing the results of our audits on our website to keep ourselves accountable to our readership.
As we strive to become a more equitable publication, we welcome feedback from our readers in the form of direct communication or letters to our editors at [email protected].