Transparency is an attribute most media outlets strive for with their audiences—the Nevada Sagebrush is no different. In the Nevada Sagebrush’s 127 year history, editors have not examined their staff’s demographics before. This year, we have decided to change that, to examine what we need to work and focus on when hiring for the next year. To achieve this, we asked our 14 paid staff members to take a forum outlining their name, year in college, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, major and languages they can speak.
The Nevada Sagebrush wants to continue striving for diversity in our newsrooms to prepare our staff members for internships, scholarships, job opportunities and graduation. A diverse staff allows this newsroom to experience different viewpoints to better serve our campus community and hear from a range of people with different backgrounds.
Countless other student newsrooms across the country revealed their own diversity reports such as the Daily Northwestern and Daily Bruin. In addition, major publications submit annual diversity reports such as the New York Times.
As the journalism field increases its diversity, it is important that student newsrooms follow suit— opening the opportunity for marginalized communities to practice journalism on this campus.
Through analyzing the data collected, the Nevada Sagebrush recognizes it has work to do to better reflect our campus community. Going forward, we pledge to improve our outreach to students of various backgrounds, which will allow us to produce a variety of stories for our readers.
YEAR IN COLLEGE
The Nevada Sagebrush primarily consists of upperclassmen who have completed most or all of their degrees.
Half, or 50 percent, of the Nevada Sagebrush staff, identifies as a person of color. This is higher than most publications within the United States. According to the 2019 ASNE Newsroom Diversity Survey, 30.8 percent of salaried workers at online-only publications are people of color. Every year, the Nevada Sagebrush aims to hire a diverse newsroom filled with people of every background.
The Nevada Sagebrush prides itself on promoting women in journalism. Women have been in countless positions of our leadership, ranging from Editor-in-Chief to various section editors. The Nevada Sagebrush has a higher percentage of women on staff than most publications. According to the 2019 ASNE Newsroom Diversity Survey, only 41.8 percent of women make up all newsroom workers. As a newsroom, we respect all genders and provide a comfortable environment for journalism to thrive in.
The Nevada Sagebrush comes from all backgrounds. Promoting a safe environment is included within that. Historically, LGBTQ journalists have been shut out of newsrooms and forced to hide their sexuality due to fear of repercussions. More LGBTQ voices need to be heard in newsrooms across the world, ours is no different.
All staff members are pursuing a degree in Journalism, but 28.4 percent are dual majoring. These majors include Business Administration, Spanish Literature, and Political Science. Within the Journalism major, students can choose an emphasis in coursework, such as news, broadcasting, documentary, public relations, advertising, Spanish-language media and media studies.
The Nevada Sagebrush began putting efforts into a Spanish-language section in late 2018 to make our paper more accessible to the Latinx community at the university and in the local Reno area. By early 2019, the paper became one of the only student newsrooms in the country to have a Spanish-language section.
Half of the Nevada Sagebrush staff identify as a first-generation student. This means they are the first in their family to attend a higher education institution. The Center of First Generation Student Success discovered during the 2015-2016 school year, approximately 56% of undergraduates were first-generation students.
Approximately 64 percent of the Nevada Sagebrush staff utilize financial aid, in order to attend the University of Nevada, Reno. According to College Factual, about 17,930 undergraduates at UNR get some sort of grant and scholarship aid.
This report was produced by Nevada Sagebrush News Editor Taylor Johnson. Taylor Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @taylorkendyll.