Diversity & Inclusion
At The Brown Daily Herald, we believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace is central to our mission of informing and reflecting our readership and community. Fostering an environment of belonging, support and safety for our staff is essential to our organization.
The Herald recognizes that individual experiences — both within and outside the newsroom — are informed by multiple intersecting identities, including but not limited to race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, national origin and socioeconomic status. We view inclusivity as the ongoing representation and recognition of these identities and the acknowledgment of the structures of power that they exist within. We view inclusion as the promotion of a workspace culture that welcomes and uplifts these identities while taking measures to prevent acts of discrimination, both explicit and implicit, against them.
Efforts to promote workplace diversity and inclusion are spearheaded by The Herald’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which is comprised of staff members at all levels of involvement within the organization. The committee makes recommendations to the editorial board on organizational initiatives and policies that can be implemented to ensure that The Herald’s coverage and newsroom environment are inclusive and accessible.
History of D&I at The Herald
The Herald has previously engaged in harmful editorial procedures that have negatively affected its relationship with communities across campus and in Providence. Starting in 2016, various staff advocates, section editors and staff committees have led The Herald’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. These individuals and committees have worked closely with staff to investigate gaps within The Herald’s coverage, held diversity and inclusion trainings for staff members and engaged in discussions with campus groups regarding community support and coverage.
Workplace Inclusivity Policy & Commitments
In 2022 and 2023, the D&I Committee drafted The Herald’s Workplace Inclusivity Policy & Commitments, which outlines institutional policies regarding inclusivity and diversity in the workplace, media coverage and community relations. The document also includes commitments made by the current editorial board to foster a supportive environment for The Herald’s staff and the broader community. The information below serves as a summary of the major initiatives listed in the document. To request the full policy, please email email@example.com.
Financial Assistance Program
The Herald’s Financial Assistance Program provides funds to support student staff members whose financial obligations might otherwise hinder their participation in Herald activities. The program intends to support all students with demonstrated commitment and need.
The financial assistance application process is entirely confidential: Applications are reviewed by a committee of Herald alumni and award recipients are not publicly announced.
Affinity-Based Community Groups
The Herald has multiple internal affinity-based groups, including groups that seek to build community for staff who identify as LGBTQ+, BIPOC, international and first-generation and/or low-income. These groups are social and mentorship spaces where Herald staff members can seek both personal and professional advice. Each group hosts several community-building events throughout the semester.
Staff Demographic Surveys
The Herald conducts an anonymous internal survey each semester that asks staff members various demographic questions. The survey also allows staff members the opportunity to provide feedback on their experiences at the organization and report any instances when they have felt undervalued, uncomfortable or unsafe in the newsroom. The demographic data compiled from these surveys serve as an internal benchmark for The Herald to monitor the progress of its diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Source Diversity Assessments
The Herald collects and critically analyzes demographic information about sources in its stories to measure progress toward reflecting the diversity of campus and Providence in its coverage. The anonymous source demographic surveys gather information about sources’ multiple axes of identity while remaining brief, approachable and accessible. They also allow sources the opportunity to provide feedback on their experiences interacting with the organization. When available, summary statistics from the source demographic surveys are compared to benchmark demographic breakdowns from Brown’s Office of Institutional Research and/or the City of Providence.
D&I Staff Trainings
The Herald conducts semesterly diversity and inclusion staff training sessions and workshops that aim to guide staff members in navigating The Herald’s history and controversies, interpersonal interactions within the workplace and diversity in editorial content. These workshops are developed based on existing guidance from professional news organizations.
Interpersonal Issues & Misconduct
The Herald is committed to creating ways for staff members to effectively address interpersonal concerns occurring in the newsroom so they can feel comfortable engaging with the organization. The Herald maintains a virtual, optionally anonymous feedback form where staff members are able to report issues they have experienced in the newsroom. In 2023, The Herald also appointed an ombudsperson on the editorial board to serve as a point of contact for staff members experiencing conflict.
Responses to The Herald’s diversity and inclusion policies may be directed to the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org, its current editorial board at email@example.com or the D&I Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page last updated April 18, 2023.