Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Letter from Intersections Editor

The Hullabaloo commits to representation, introduces new content section

Allison Buffett

Allison Buffett

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Words have power: the power to stop pipelines, to exert existence, to say lives matter.

Media coverage also has power. This is the first thing we learn as student journalists. Crafting stories, communicating the truth and providing representation for all voices are why many of us enter this profession. I know it’s why I did.

The privilege of storytelling, however, comes with a heavy responsibility to the community we serve. A journalist’s obligation is to seek out and find all angles of a story. Providing all people with a voice, not just the mainstream, is our duty.

But more often than not, we do not live up to this duty.

Across the country, newsrooms remain in great part white, cisgender and inaccessible to people outside of that mold. According to a Poynter Institute study, people of color only make up 17 percent of newsroom staffs across the country in 2016. According to the Society of Professional Journalists, 40 percent of all papers reported hiring no people of color at all in 2015.

Without these communities represented in newsrooms, no publication can thoroughly and accurately tell the truths of our communities. Personal experiences and cultural knowledge shape what we report and even know to report. This underrepresentation erases us.

The Tulane Hullabaloo is no exception to this trend. The Hullabaloo, for many years, has been a traditionally white newspaper reflecting a predominantly white campus.

As a member of The Tulane Hullabaloo, I know representing the entire Tulane community is something we have strived to do. I acknowledge, however, that in many ways, we have failed. We know we failed. The Hullabaloo has not prioritized the voices of students of color, of LGBTQ+ students, of our marginalized students. For that, we are sorry.

Representation is power. I want us to be better, and I know we can be better.

We, as a board, have looked inwardly as an organization and acknowledge the hurt we have caused and the lack of accountability we have had to our readers, especially our marginalized ones. Many discussions have occurred throughout the semester about inclusion, about ways in which we can do better in covering more perspectives and in recruiting outside communities already represented at The Hullabaloo.

But we know this is not enough.

For these reasons, we are introducing a new section to The Hullabaloo. Intersections is meant to acknowledge our existence as marginalized students and to cover stories that encompass our experiences on this campus.

Intersections will explore issues and stories of importance to people of color, LGBTQ+ community and other groups whose interests are not adequately represented in mainstream media. Intersections will report fairly and ethically on these issues and will allow people to share their experiences in their own voices.

From first-hand essays, to profiles on interesting but underappreciated professors, to hard-hitting news, to reviews on musicians not reaching “mainstream” audiences, we want to hear and publish these types of pieces. It’s through these types of narratives that we are written into existence in Tulane’s recorded history.

The inspiration for Intersections came from the history of only small portions of media being dedicated to reporting our laughter, our culture, and our struggles because we are worth more than sensationalized news clips that misrepresent us.

I want us to follow in the footsteps of journalists who have come before us and paved the way through writing our truths, typing our histories and ensuring our stories would stand the test of time.

Writers dedicated and interested in continuing this legacy of journalism should contact me and join this first cohort of what I hope to be a long line of writers.

This space is for us because our voices matter. Our existence matters. We matter.

The Hullabaloo invites all voices to come write for Intersections or any section you find appropriate.

 

-Canela López,

Intersections Editor

[email protected]

Pronouns: they, them, theirs

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
Letter from Intersections Editor