The Wesleyan Argus is seeking funding to offer paid reporting positions to students of color from low-income backgrounds to increase the accessibility of student journalism and take active strides toward making our newsroom more representative of the communities we cover. We recognize that our current reporting positions—all of which are unpaid—are only realistic for students from more privileged backgrounds. For students supporting themselves financially through college, working at a student paper with no pay is a considerable hardship that serves as an inherent barrier to accessing journalism opportunities. This largely accounts for the overrepresentation of white reporters in student newsrooms.
We want to provide a supportive space for all students interested in journalism and offer a holistic learning experience for all reporters, ranging from basic reporting skills to an understanding of the racist legacy of journalism. However, the racist legacy of predominantly white journalism continues to be upheld by the reality that many newsrooms—including The Argus—are not reflective of the communities they cover. More often than not, the voices of students of color are blocked from newsroom conversations and editorial decisions on stories about their communities.
The failure of our newsroom to report on stories amplifying the voices of those from marginalized communities cannot be adequately addressed without first acknowledging our failure to retain and support journalists of color. This initiative aims to break down barriers that have historically prevented journalists of color from contributing to The Argus.
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