I have had to consider diversity in my journalism work ever since I started writing for my high school newspaper my sophomore year. Our advisors always emphasized including both boys and girls as interviewees in our articles, just as they reminded us constantly that we were writing for both a male and female audience. But I use the term "diversity" a bit loosely here; I went to an overwhelmingly white high school. In addition to gender, diversity meant a difference in grade level. It meant athletes versus theater kids, and considering every interest group in between.
But that was about it.
Here at USC, diversity takes on a whole new meaning. First off, we're in Los Angeles, and within it, the Trojan community, which is also obviously and incredibly diverse. (In fact, we did a story last week on the new admissions class and how diverse it is). Considering that we have more international students from more countries than all but one school in the United States, and we're barely removed from being at the top, calling the University of Southern California diverse would be an understatement.
As a producer, I am constantly reminding reporters and volunteers to keep the people they interview and the subjects of their stories diverse. A story with three people can't just be three white freshmen males. It wouldn't be an accurate reflection, and the audience notices those types of things.
That brings me to the viewers. When we are figuring out what stories to include in our show, our target audience always comes up. That of course is the USC community. In my head, do I think, will this story interest our diverse audience? Honestly, no, I don't. But I absolutely consider whether every story we run will interest the Trojan family. I don't consider diversity specifically in that respect. However, as someone who is about to finish my third year as a member of the USC community, I understand the diversity here without having to even think about it. It's become second nature.
I still utilize the rules I was taught in high school; vary the gender, the grade level, and the type of personality or interests of the people in the stories. Now, at USC, I combine that with racial and ethnic diversity as well. And in the media center, I know I'm far from the only one who considers these factors. That's why I'm so confident we do a great job.