Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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The Daily’s 2022-2023 diversity report

Over the last five years, the diversity and inclusion team at The Daily Northwestern has compiled data on our staff and source demographics. The Daily continues to be an imperfect newspaper, but having this information helps us understand our staff, as well as how to improve recruitment and retention across different groups, better.

We are not representative of the Northwestern student body as a whole, and while it is difficult to perfectly represent campus, we are always striving to be a more inclusive, accessible paper.

Note: This data comes from a voluntary survey and is not exactly accurate to Daily staff demographics. Numbers may not exactly add to 100. Unless mentioned otherwise, the NU data is from the Class of 2025.

 

All statistics for The Daily’s racial and ethnic breakdown add up to more than 100% because multiracial students are counted multiple times.

When looking at our staff and editorial board’s racial demographics, there are a few notable traits.

Northwestern’s Class of 2025 was the first to be majority BIPOC. Those demographics are  similar to The Daily staff, which is 69% BIPOC, although it’s still important to note discrepancies in our staff.

We overrepresent Asian staffers by about 20%, with 46.5% of our staff falling under the University’s definition of Asian Pacific Islander. 

Our staff’s white population is on par with the University, at a little more than half, but our staff has a severe underrepresentation of both Hispanic/Latine and Black students. The Daily’s staff is about 4% less Hispanic/Latine and 5% less Black than the University campus.

This is not a new trend, although it has improved over the last three years. In 2020, The Daily was 4% Hispanic/Latine and 5% Black. Now, it is about 12.7% and 7%, respectively.

 

The Daily is predominantly female, and while Northwestern is slightly more female than male, The Daily has a much more significant gap.

 

 

The Daily underrepresents first generation low income students, as well. Northwestern is 15.2% first-generation college students and 21% Pell Grant recipients. The Daily’s staff self-reported as 15.5% low-income and 9.9% first-generation college students.

 

Students with financial aid are not adequately represented in The Daily’s staff. Among the top 25 schools, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2024, NU ranks fifth in economic diversity. Over 60% of Northwestern’s Class of 2026 receives financial aid, compared to 39.4% of The Daily.

 

The Daily is a significant time commitment, and it is often difficult to be a consistent contributor with a part-time job or other major time commitments. 

Production runs Sunday through Thursday from 6 p.m. onward. This is prime time to work or do homework, impacting accessibility for some staffers.

In Fall 2019, The Daily started a quarterly stipend program. At the end of that school year, the Daily’s staff was 7.4% first-generation, which has since increased to 9.9%. While many other factors could have affected this increase, including fewer print papers, it’s heartening to see a Daily staff that seems to be more inclusive than in the past.

Staff retention is also fairly low. At the end of the fall quarter, we had 106 staffers, which decreased to 71 by the end of spring. The majority of staff were sophomores or freshmen. It’s particularly unlikely for editors in spring to be juniors or seniors.

As a whole, The Daily must improve retention and accessibility for its staffers.

The Daily spends many hours editing, which is part of our role as a teaching newspaper, but it also requires a lot of editors, both in terms of time and effort.

The Daily occupies a unique place on NU’s campus as a source of news. We have an obligation to represent our community — and that starts with our staff. We hope to improve our accessibility through components like the developing staff process.

As the years go on, The Daily aims to uphold our rigorous standards. Our coverage can represent our community better and our processes can adjust to accommodate more and more students. We are far from perfect, and we want to continue to improve. 

Read previous diversity reports:

The Daily Northwestern’s 2021-22 diversity report 

The Daily Northwestern’s Spring Quarter 2021 Diversity Report 

The Daily Northwestern’s 2020 Diversity Report

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