OSU to host national summit on diversity, inclusion in college media

Sarah Weaver News Reporter

Diversity in professional media starts at the college level. 

Oregon State University is addressing the issue head-on by hosting the first ever College Media Association Summit on Diversity and Inclusion this weekend.  

Starting Sept. 30  and continuing Oct. 1, 100 college media students and advisers, about half of which are from OSU’s Orange Media Network, will convene on campus for the event.

The conference will take a look into the makeup of media organizations and their coverage, as well as how they can better serve underrepresented groups through inclusion. 

The Seattle Times will be represented at the conference by six multimedia journalists who will discuss these topics and their work with the “Under Our Skin” project, a project that takes a look at how The Seattle Times covers race through discussions of diversity and inclusion.

For more on the “Under our Skin” project use the QR code below.

The summit will take place in the Memorial Union and the Student Experience Center, and will feature keynote speakers, film screenings and other issues of diversity and inclusion in the media. 

According to Candace Baltz, Director of Orange Media Network and one of the conference organizers, the topic of diversity and inclusion is one that is discussed at national media conferences, but shorter discussions do not provide adequate context.

“Fifty minutes or three hours doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface,” Baltz said.

Baltz was inspired to host the event after attending a CMA conference last March, where Jackie Alexander, the assistant director of Tiger Media at Clemson University, led a discussion on diversity in media. 

“Jackie has a way of opening the eye’s of the people around her,” Baltz said. Baltz and Alexander have been planning the summit and collaborating with Rachele Kanigel, the former president of the CMA and editor of the Diversity Style Guide since that convention.

Alexander will also host a session discussing data analysis and how media outlets will soon be able to use an auditing tool to check their analytics, measure diversity and inclusivity in their coverage and see what is not being covered.  

“What if we used our data in a good way?” Alexander said. “How do we use data to make our coverage and content more inclusive?” 

Anne Gillies, OSU director of the Search Advocacy program at the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, will be speaking on inclusivity in organizations at the summit.

“My hope is that between all of us that it will be something valuable for all the folks present,” Gillies said. 

In addition to the journalists from the Seattle Times, speakers from around the country including Frank LoMonte, the executive director of the Student Press Law Center will be flying in for the summit.

Representatives from OSU will also be speaking. 

Jason Dorsette, associate director and chief of staff for the Office of Diversity and Cultural Engagement, Cindy Konrad, assistant director of LGBT services and outreach, Charlene Martinez, the associate director of integrated learning for social change for diversity & cultural engagement, Whitney Archer, associate director of diversity & cultural engagement and director of the Women’s Center, and Allison Davis-White Eyes, assistant vice provost of student affairs and director of Diversity and Cultural Engagement will have the opportunity to address issues relating to diversity and inclusion.

Registration for the Summit on Diversity and Inclusion will remain open until the day of the summit. For additional information visit  www.cmadiversity.com/registration. 

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