EDITORIAL: Unbiased reporting with an unbalanced staff

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As a newspaper, we are obligated to report the news on DePauw University’s campus. Perhaps our community’s most pressing issue, campus climate, has been at the forefront of all of our minds, especially after Wednesday’s DePauw Dialogue. It is therefore our intention to cover DePauw’s most pressing issue with professionalism and without bias. After our storyboard meeting this past Wednesday, after the day’s speeches and break-out sessions concluded, a potential obstacle presented itself: most of our staff is white (most meaning over 90 percent).

The DePauw does not seek to take sides or promote a particular message about campus climate. We at The DePauw have no agenda other than to report what is happening here. The white perspective is not the only perspective, but despite our best efforts, it is difficult to remain unbiased in our reporting when we have a racially unbalanced staff. Thus, we now ask students of color to consider joining our team to help us strike a stronger balance in our newsroom. 

The print medium of The DePauw is not the setting in which the University will overcome its racial obstacles. Our medium is, however, (ideally) an outlet upon which all students can rely to consume the information most relevant to our campus. We seek to set the facts straight, to lay it all on the table, so students can inform themselves on these issues, so students can then make informed decisions about how their conduct and interactions on campus. 

Honestly though, how well can The DePauw accomplish this goal if our staff remains primarily white? Don’t get us wrong; we will do the best we can. We will continue to run the paper twice a week, and we will continue to report the most relevant issues on campus. The DePauw is simply eager to expand the versatility of our reporting, eager to diversify the voices with which we tell the news of DePauw University.

Both personal and complex, the issues that pervade our campus climate will not evaporate solely because of the efforts of The DePauw. As a news outlet, our influence on this issue is limited. We can make a difference through the quality of our reporting and the authenticity of our contributors. We will achieve quality through the journalistic process—interviewing, researching and editing. We will achieve authenticity through the perspectives of our writers, which is why we especially can benefit from new members joining our cause. 

Campus climate certainly affects all students on this campus, albeit with a stratified influence. Our campus will continue to engage in these deeply important dialogues, so it is our duty at The DePauw to regard these events with primary consideration. For anyone interested in helping, for anyone who wants to contribute their voice to our staff, The DePauw cordially invites you to our storyboard meetings every Sunday and Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. We would love to have you.