The media industry does not accurately reflect the people it serves – only about 13 percent of journalists are racial minorities (compared to nearly a third of the U.S. population), and men still dominate newsrooms even though two-thirds of journalism grads are women.
Diverse views are critical in journalism. To that end, the school is committed to proactively fostering diversity and inclusion throughout its curriculum, hiring, and day-to-day practices.
In the Classroom
Each year faculty members compile and review their efforts to promote diversity throughout classes and throughout the program. See the latest diversity report for the 2019-20 school year.
The school’s Diversity and Inclusivity Plan outlines what the school is doing to foster diversity and inclusion in the program.
Outside of Class
School clubs enhance the student experience, including student chapters of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Native American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, and Asian American Journalists Association.
School diversity coordinator Jessica Retis leads the school diversity listserv and school diversity Facebook page.
Listening to Students
We surveyed students in October 2016 to assess the climate of diversity and found that most students believe the school supports diverse students, but that the faculty could be more diverse. We also held a “listening tour” on Dec. 2, 2016, to gather insights and perceptions from students about their experiences in and outside of class.
Looking at Ourselves
An assessment of the school’s diversity efforts is provided in our national accreditation self-study. See the 2017-18 report and compare it to the 2011-12 report to see the school’s progress on diversity and inclusion. The school passed all nine standards for reaccreditation in 2017-18, including diversity and inclusion.
For more than 35 years, the school has hosted a high school summer workshop for diverse high school students to inspire them to consider careers in journalism. Many of the students then came to the University of Arizona, graduated, and are now working journalists.
Recruiting Diverse Faculty
We started a faculty visiting diversity fellow program – hosting a promising scholar who would be a good fit for the school to speak about issues important to disadvantaged populations. We feel we must be proactive to recruit the best and most diverse faculty to represent the students we serve. The first visiting scholar was Jessica Retis of California State Northridge in February 2017. The School of Journalism hired Retis as an associate professor in summer 2019. Dr. Retis accepted the role of School of Journalism director in 2022.
Many faculty members, including the school director, have undergone Safe Zone training to support LGBTQ-plus students. Look for the Safe Zone sign.
Students can contact Alexandra Pere for internships that might include diversity opportunities.
Here to Listen
If anyone feels discriminated against, they are encouraged to contact school Director Jessica Retis or campus resources such as the Dean of Students (student-on-student discrimination) or the Office of Institutional Equity (allegations of discrimination by faculty or staff). Don’t be silent.