CMMW 2018: Educate Yourselves On Diversity

By Amani Patterson

The topic of diversity is often brushed off. Everyone thinks that they are experts on the topic, therefore, do not take the time to really understand what diversity is. Most, usually thinks it just means to acknowledge people/things that are "different." What a lot of journalists (and people in general) fail to realize is the fact that diversity is what keeps journalism alive. No one wants to keep hearing the same stories from the same groups of people.

Everyone has a unique, especially immigrants who came to this country looking for better opportunities. These stories need to be reported on and generally, people are interested whether they admit it or not. Also, having diversity in the newsroom makes a difference as well. The way people tell stories will determine how the story will be perceived by the public. Newsrooms need diversity in order to tell diverse stories. Different points of view makes the difference.

he general lecture on the first day of the workshops was about diversity. I was interested in what reporter Faiza Mahamud had to say but at the same time, I felt as though I knew a good deal about the topic due to the fact that I am a female that is both of African-American and Latino descent. Even though I felt like an expert on diversity because it is something that I advocate for, there were still things that needed to be revealed to me.

Faiza Mahamud dropped a lot of gems during her lecture.

These key points stood out the most to me:

  • Cover communities you’ve never covered before

  • Find new stories

  • Report on communities correctly

  • Treat immigrants as full members of communities

  • Make contacts

  • Go to a community when you’re not on a deadline

If you follow these instructions, communities will respect you more and be more willing to help you report on the story. We must all educate ourselves on diversity and go into it with the most genuine intentions. We cannot disrespect the communities that surround us, especially immigrant communities. They are people just like us, they have stories just like us as well.