On The Record: The Eagle announces new role aimed at diversifying coverage
Community Engagement Editor focuses on expanding our reach with AU
The Eagle added a position to its staff at the start of the spring semester to foster new relationships with the AU community and strengthen its existing ones. Through a collaborative effort, the Community Engagement Editor was conceived.
It was important to our leadership and our staff that as a campus publication, we found better ways to connect with our audience, especially members of marginalized communities and those who felt absent in our coverage.
Through our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, we designed the new section editor position on the news team. Many staff members came together to consider what was necessary to engage students and organizations who have expressed frustration with The Eagle in the past.
The committee was brought about by a group of staff members to address The Eagle’s lack of diversity in our own staff. Through regular meetings over the course of the fall semester, the group devised a plan to promote outreach and increase recruitment efforts of students from all schools and majors with different experiences.
With greater efforts to focus on diversity, we are able to cultivate greater trust among our audience members. It is only fair to our readers that our newsroom and coverage accurately represent the AU community. The sole responsibility to diversify The Eagle and its work does not only fall on the shoulders of the Community Engagement Editor, but this is one step in that direction to do more.
The editor’s work is centered around source building, which can become challenging at a student news organizations with regular turnover rates and changing leadership each year. This position was put in place to correct for that and ensure there is an attempt to maintain those relationships.
So far our Community Engagement Editor, Fariha Rahman, has come up with pitches for the news section, attended meetings on campus with organization leaders and edited writer’s stories with a focus on cultural groups and identity-based organizations.
In the future, we hope that our audience will be able to see this position as a direct link to the community.
As always, readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and op-eds if they seek to address concerns or offer feedback about our coverage. We additionally ask that you fill out this survey if there is anything you would like to specifically see addressed in this column.