Every semester, The Daily Nebraskan will conduct a newsroom diversity report through its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Board. 

This is the fifth iteration of the report with the last one in the Fall of 2022. 

The board collects demographic data such as race, gender, sexuality and more to give a clear picture of representation – or lack thereof – in our newsroom. We also collected feedback from our staffers on how they view our progress in diversity, equity and inclusion and where we can improve.

For context, 14 out of the 15 members of DN’s senior staff, 47 general staff members, 9 members of Daily Nebraskan Media Group and 2 external members of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Board filled out this semester’s survey. We would like to note that since our last survey, we lost 4 members of our senior staff. 

This semester, 11 out of the 14 senior staff members are White. Compared to last semester, diversity in race increased from 15% to 21.42%. The result of this increase is due to our senior staff becoming smaller and not because of an increase in hiring. Meanwhile, the general staff, 82.76% are White. This is a decrease in racial diversity from last semester with 79.63% of staff being White. For more context, the most recent Diversity Report conducted by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln reported that 76% of undergrad students are White in 2021. 

Just like last semester, the majority of our senior and general staff is made up of women, 57.14% and 65.52% respectively. Compared to UNL’s report, women make up 49.5% of the undergrad population.

The percentage of senior staff who have a sexual orientation other than heterosexual has decreased from 40% to 21.43%. On the other hand, the same percentage has increased in general staff from 25.5% to 31.03%.

Just like last semester, those who don’t practice any religion make up the majority of staff at 40.28%. Followed by Christianity making up 23.61%.

Less staffers this semester come from a household income of $100k or more. The percentage dropped from 31.2% to 29.17%. There was also an increase in staff members who come from a household income of less than 30k. The percentage increased from 1.35% to 5.56%.

Additionally, 62.5% of staff work to support themselves.

The Daily Nebraskan currently has 13 staff members who are first-generation students.

The majority of the staff is in-state students with 50 staffers and 22 coming in from out-of-state.

Five members of our staff have disabilities.

One staff member has first languages other than English with those languages being Hindi and Telegu.

This semester we have 29 staff members who are majoring outside of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

What are we doing about it?

The Daily Nebraskan’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Board has been working since the spring of 2020 to increase diversity in the newsroom. So far our diversity reports have shown some improvement, but do not reflect the progress we want at the publication.

The main point of improvement that we are hoping to focus on is racial diversity. About a quarter of students at the university are non-White according to the most recent Diversity Report conducted by UNL. Our goal is for our organization to represent what our population on campus looks like.

It is evident that there is still a lot of work to be done DEI-wise at The Daily Nebraskan. 

Next academic year the board is working on reaching out to more outside organizations and encouraging them to apply at The Daily Nebraskan. 

Internally, the board has been working hard to create a diversity style guide that will be used as a standard resource and guide for all of the staff next year. Additionally, we are going to provide better DEI training for the coming up staff as well. 

We want to make sure our stories are including diverse sources, so the board's solution is to make a diversity source tracker that allows the reporters to fill out the demographics behind each person they interview. We implemented this last semester, but are currently working to improve it to make it easier for our reporters to use next year. We are hoping to implement this next semester and have a diversity source report along with the usual diversity report. We believe it is important The Daily Nebraskan is transparent on not only who we hire but who we cover in our stories as well.

The Daily Nebraskan’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Board will continue to prioritize building relationships with all groups on campus moving forward. We are hoping to make changes one step at a time. If you are a student who would like to be involved, the application for the board is currently open on our online application.