The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other people of color prompted a summer of protests and calls for action against systemic racism. Change is necessary across the nation within the police force and other organizations. The Talisman is no exception to this change.
Over the summer, the editorial board has reflected on past coverage and inclusion, and we recognize that we’ve come up short. Across everything we published last school year, 13.4% of students quoted in a story or shown in a photograph were people of color. In comparison, 20.4% of WKU students identify as a person of color. Although we do not base hiring decisions off race, gender or sexual orientation, our staff is predominantly white.
This year, one of our top priorities is to diversify our content and the people delivering it. If you are a part of an organization that promotes or represents people of color, let us know about events and unique people involved with your group. If you have a story to tell or want to work for us, we encourage you to reach out, and we will work hard to search for these stories.
We are looking to change our structure by requiring most stories to involve at least one person of color, and rather than analyzing our sources at the end of the semester, we will be checking every couple weeks so we can reevaluate sooner and take action if necessary.
We are still hiring writers and photographers to join our staff this semester, and the application can be found here. Most spots for the fall semester have been filled, but we will hire as necessary into the first week of September. Applications for the spring reopen in mid-to-late November, but applications submitted now will still be considered then. In addition, you can reach out to us directly with story ideas or ways we can improve at [email protected].
We are looking forward to the year ahead and engaging with you, our readers, more than ever before. We want to do better to accurately represent everyone in the WKU community through the Talisman’s website. If we fall short, please call us out and tell us what we can do better.