Diversity in the Media
NORTHRIDGE, CA – Recently, many communities have raised their frustrations toward news media outlets for failing to report when a person of color is announced missing. CSUN journalism student Michaella Huck says more diversity in the media and newsrooms will lead to full coverage of communities of color.
Huck says she is one out of three Black students in her journalism classes. She says she is a proud Black student, and she says journalism has been a predominately white industry. Huck says diversity is important to her because more people will be bringing unique narratives from their communities.
“Having Black reporters is important because you have a closer drive to go report on issues about your community,” says Huck.
Huck is working with Cal Matters and for the Daily Sundial at CSUN. She says community stories about her culture motivate her to keep pushing through this competitive field. She hopes incoming journalists pave the way to help diversify the newsrooms.
Educator Shianne Winston serves Latino and Black communities at a non-profit organization. She speaks to parents about education equity in low-income neighborhoods. Winston founded a non-profit called the New Black Era which serves to empower the Black community.
Winston says being in a leadership role has allowed her to advocate for education equity in Black and Latino neighborhoods. “I’m always making sure their stories are being told from the people who are experiencing it,” says Winston. It is important for her to give a name and a face to those folks who are facing a problem.
She connects this to the problem of the lack of representation when it comes to the media.
She says the media does not care about Black bodies and Black women going missing.
“When you take a look at the media, think about who tells the story,” says Winston.
She says it is important to have someone representing her community and adding their own narrative to the story. Such stories bring more attention to the issue.
Winston admires Black and African American media role models like Tiffany Cross and Angela Rye; who have used their platforms to voice issues regarding diversity and equal rights. She says she admires these women and sees them as her representatives in the mainstream media because they care about Black people and their stories.
She says, “Tiffany Cross talked about this, a few weeks ago in her morning segment,” about Gabby Petito’s story. The media went crazy. But if a Black child went missing, “we have to depend on our social media channels,” says Winston.
Meanwhile, Joel Lemuel is an assistant professor at CSUN. He teaches various classes in the Communications Department, and his focus is on rhetoric speech.
Lemuel also says the problem is the media. The local news is run by human interest stories rather than community-based stories. There is a lack of information about stories which may often include people of color. He says you have to look at who were the resources providing this type of information.
When he teaches his classes, he says, “I think it’s really important for students to get an understanding of what constitutes effective rhetoric.” By this, he means it is important to annotate the message behind the problem because it helps people revoke any systemic behavior within their workspace or environment.
Video Credit: NBC News
Video Credit: Kimmy Chacon
Audio Credit: Kimmy Chacon speaking with Professor Lemuel
By Kimmy Chacon
Contributions from NBC News
Video, NBC News
Photos from Kimmy Chacon