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Letter From The Editor: How Can We Create More Representative Campus Coverage?

By: Akansha Das, Red & Black Editor-In-Chief
NOV. 30 - It was recently brought to our attention that we failed to provide timely coverage of the Homecoming Court and report on the crowning of this year’s Homecoming Presidents. This year’s Homecoming Presidents were individuals of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community and came closer to representing the diversity of our campus than ever before. We were also alerted that this was part of a campus wide/systemic issue in reporting this recognition of our Homecoming Presidents.

We at the Red and Black sincerely apologize for this oversight and lack of coverage. This Homecoming Court deserved this recognition from their student newspaper. The reasons contributing for the lack of coverage of the Homecoming Presidents are predictably multifaceted. Reporting on campus news without a Campus News Staff Writer is tough (a position we have been actively recruiting for). Building and training our staff while simultaneously ensuring we are producing representative content and stories is tough. Establishing a regular print schedule and a robust website from the ground up (which ensures we are covering events as soon as possible) is tough. We are here to do the tough work, but we know we aren't going to get it right 100% of time. When we don't get it right, we rely on our community members - especially W&J students and staff - to hold us accountable as they did here.

"This Homecoming Court deserved this recognition from their student newspaper. The reasons contributing for the lack of coverage of the Homecoming Presidents are predictably multifaceted."

In order to “walk the walk” so to speak, we are currently assessing how to prevent this oversight in the future, including:
  • Altering our story assignment process so that campus events and milestones that are of important to the student body are more accurately covered and represented.

  • Expanding our website chat feature so students can send in story ideas so we can hear about events directly from the student body. Our coverage is better informed when we have contributions and recommendations. If you have any story ideas please feel free to tell us at wjredandblack.org or by emailing redandblackstaff@washjeff.edu

  • Featuring the Homecoming Presidents in our first 2023 issue, if the Homecoming Court is comfortable and willing to contribute their voices

We are using this mistake as an opportunity for us to grow and we call on other platforms across campus to do the same. Ultimately, what transpired was a disservice to students. To our Homecoming Presidents & Court – we truly apologize for not providing this coverage. Your stories deserve to be covered, and we are working to take the steps necessary to prevent this oversight at the Red & Black in the future.



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