Adviser Update Summer 2016 - Page 24

D IV E R SIT Y M AT TE R S Would the 2016 election coverage change if newsrooms utilized more journalists of color on the campaign trail? By Eric Burse STUDENTS NEED TO THINK CRITICALLY ABOUT HOW THE LACK OF DIVERSITY IN NEWSROOMS AFFECTS WHAT WE HEAR AND READ ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES H uffington Post executive editor Liz Heron posted this photo to Twitter in late May, sharing a glimpse inside their editorial meeting with her 52,000 followers. “Notice anything about this @HuffingtonPost editors meeting?” the caption read. It seems Heron intended to highlight the large number of women making editorial decisions. However, she received an immediate internet backlash attacking the lack of males or people of color on the Huffington Post editorial staff. Angry response tweets ensued, and of course, news articles highlighting the situation were published and shared thousands of times. I believe this situation is the perfect teachable moment for students to understand how a newsroom full of people, which might not be racially diverse, can affect what stories are covered and how they are told. Specifically, I argue that this phenomenon is awfully evident in the media’s coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign so far. The numbers speak for themselves. America’s most diverse electorate ever will vote in November, but the people writing stories about the candidates, deciding what questions to ask them and analyzing their speeches is not at all reflective of the population. Thirty percent of the United States currently is a racial minority, but you would not notice that by looking at the endless