Daily Egyptian

Black History Month: an opportunity for change

By DE Staff

Journalism has been a field dictated and led by white males.

The DE has struggled to change this culture. This organization has not had a black editor-in-chief, and rarely has more than one black member on the editorial board.

In acknowledging these shortfalls in diversity, though, we realize how we can begin to adjust how we cover campus.

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While we strive to be more understanding, diverse and open-minded, we nevertheless need your help.

There is no better time to start our road to diversity than during Black History Month. Diversity is not a trend or buzzword. It is necessary if a news organization is to stay current, informed and fair.

Thus, the Daily Egyptian is using Black History Month as a 28-day opportunity to examine what it means to be black in southern Illinois and America.

Every day we will feature content that analyzes at least one aspect of black history or culture.

There will be anecdotes of racism, stories of acceptance and facts about the ugliest and most compassionate aspects of American race relations. This will be an attempt to convey the importance and history of the month.

The Daily Egyptian is not here to force a system of beliefs on its audience. Rather, this is the organization’s opportunity to encourage conversation on some of America’s most pressing issues.

So, enjoy, criticize and converse. Let us know when the DE fails and succeeds. We realize not every story can be told or all aspects covered in just one month. Topics related to black history can and should encompass the whole year.

We want your input. We are looking for letters to the editor, story ideas and opinions. A simple way to start the conversation with people you know is by using #SIUTalks on Twitter.

We hope this month will open eyes, celebrate culture and spark conversation. We know we will be covering some controversial issues and difficult subjects. Our goal is not to shock, but to create an opportunity for our community to keep race issues at the forefront of discussions. Please help us get the conversation started.

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