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Editorial: Keeping the Indiana Daily Student accountable

The IDS is making major changes this semester.



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The Indiana Daily Student would like to acknowledge and apologize to IU students for not being representative and fair to different demographic groups that make up IU'S community. Like many media outlets across America, the IDS has struggled with keeping our coverage fair, open and inclusive to every type of student that graces IU’s campus. We have failed the students of this university by only telling part of the story of Bloomington’s many communities. We acknowledge that we have been part of the problem and we are striving to become part of the solution. 

We have heard your criticism and are implementing changes that promote accurate and responsible representation for the entirety of IU’s community. For example, it was unfair of the IDS to not cover stories surrounding the Latinx community, but repeatedly approach La Casa Latino Cultural Center for quotes about President Donald Trump’s frequent racist remarks toward the Latinx community. The various relationships the IDS has with the different cultural centers should be symbiotic and our past actions do not reflect this. Finally, we acknowledge that our paper has echoed daily police briefings and not considered the entirety of the story

The Bloomington community deserves a newspaper that represents the ideas, hopes, challenges and triumphs of all its residents, and the IDS is committed to becoming that voice. These changes include but are not limited to:

Black Voices: The biggest first step the IDS will be taking this fall is our new platform for Black and other under-represented students, Black Voices. The Black Voices section will provide a space for students to share stories, columns, perspectives and other media about being Black on IU’s campus.

Semi-annual demographics survey: The IDS Diversity Board is conducting its first demographics survey, to be released every semester. The goal of this survey is to provide transparency about who makes up the IDS and to provide data to help drive initiatives to diversify our staff and management. 

Changes to the General Assignments (reporter training) process: In an attempt to help integrate the future of IDS with all the communities of IU, we have implemented new training to foster those relationships. To start, we are requiring every new reporter to write a story surrounding a community which they do not belong to. For example a new straight, white reporter must write a story surrounding the Black, Latinx, LGTBQ or any other community to which they do not belong. 

Transparency and feedback: We are in the process of developing a system that will better enable our readers to provide feedback on IDS content. We want to maintain a higher level of transparency and responsibility to the power the IDS possesses. 

The goal of the IDSis to accurately report and tell the stories of IU’s students, staff, faculty and the larger Bloomington community. As we enter into a new semester and, hopefully, a new era in our country, the institutions of the past must align with the vision of the future. We will continue to do our best to make the IDS an inclusive and representative publication for all of IU’s students, faculty and staff.

However, we need your help. Please continue to hold us accountable. If you take issue with the way a story was reported, let us know and wewill listen, explain and engage with you to try and rectify any mistakes.

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