The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor
The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: End of spring plus summer 2023 audit results

The State Hornet finds ways to improve coverage of underrepresented communities.
Diversity%2C+Equity+and+Inclusion+editor+Jasmine+Ascencio+shares+the+results+of+The+State+Hornets+end+of+spring+plus+summer+2023+audit.+While+some+goals+have+been+met%2C+there+are+still+improvements+needed+when+covering+Native%2FIndigenous+people+and+communities+of+people+with+disabilities.+Graphic+created+in+Canva+by+Jasmine+Ascencio.
Jasmine Ascencio
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion editor Jasmine Ascencio shares the results of The State Hornet’s end of spring plus summer 2023 audit. While some goals have been met, there are still improvements needed when covering Native/Indigenous people and communities of people with disabilities. Graphic created in Canva by Jasmine Ascencio.

Hello readers of The State Hornet!

My name is Jasmine Ascencio and I’m the current Diversity, Equity and Inclusion editor for The State Hornet. Since fall 2021, The State Hornet has published the diversity audit midway and end-of-semester to hold itself accountable for goals and suggestions made in previous audits.

According to our spring 2023 midway audit, our overall diverse coverage improved but our Native, Indigenous, and people with disabilities communities needed more coverage.

Last semester, as a DEI staffer, I helped contribute to the previous audit by collecting data from our sections and checking to see if they had centered sources.

Note: “Centered sources” means story coverage focusing on people from underrepresented communities. For example, last semester’s DEI writer Ruth Finch’s story covering Sac State students with disabilities participating in Easterseals’ disability film challenge used centered sources.

As the current DEI editor, part of my responsibility includes auditing The State Hornet’s coverage, finding ways to improve our coverage of underrepresented communities and leading a team of staffers committed to covering these communities.

Over the summer, I began creating The State Hornet’s first diversity, equity and inclusion style guide. This ever-evolving guide educates our staff regarding our interactions and reporting on underrepresented communities.

Since this audit combines the end of the spring semester and summer content, the data in this audit is unique. Our summer coverage is very minimal compared to a midway or end-of-semester audit.


During the summer, the only staffers in the newsroom are editors and returning staffers who are available. The State Hornet is a student-run publication. Summer is when most students take some time off so this greatly affects our summer coverage.

RELATED: Summer Recap: An armed robbery and more news

Like the previous audit recommended, we still need to increase our coverage of Native, Indigenous and people with disabilities communities.

In our videos, there was a four percentage-point decrease in diverse coverage. In our podcasts, there was a 30 percentage-point increase. In our coverage of arts and entertainment, there was a 19 percentage-point decrease. In our news coverage, there was an 11 percentage-point decrease. In sports, there was a 20 percentage-point decrease.

Last audit, one of the goals involved creating a DEI style guide. Over the summer, we met that goal and plan on implementing it this semester with our current staffers and editors.

Every section met their goal to have 60% of their content have centered sources. Our podcast section exceeded this goal.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion end of spring plus summer 2023 report

Goals and Suggestions

  • Continue collaborations with other sections within the publication (news, arts and entertainment, sports, video, podcast and social media).
  • Create a podcast that discusses intersectional issues faced by underrepresented communities at Sac State.
  • Focus on increasing coverage in the Native/Indigenous communities.
  • Increase overall coverage on the people with disabilities community.
  • Incorporate the usage of multimedia and creative visuals in stories covering underrepresented communities.
  • Encourage sections to have 70% or more of their stories focusing on diverse stories with student voices.
  • Collaborate with sections that are not meeting suggested goals.
  • Collaborate with the Division of Inclusive Excellence to have a workshop for all staffers and editors.
  • Finalize The State Hornet’s first style guide.

OVERVIEW: A look at our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Section

Coverage on our Black community

Strengths:

What can be improved?

  • Providing more consistent coverage.
  • Writing more profiles on various Black communities and impactful individuals on campus.
  • Writing more intersectional stories that highlight the voice of the Black community.
  • Connecting more with the MLK Center, Black Student Union, and Black Greek life.
  • Highlighting the diversity of the Black community by bringing more coverage on African and Caribbean communities.

Coverage on our Latinx/Hispanic community

Strengths:

  • Our Spanish section continued their broadcast series, El Avispon Del Estado, covering topics surrounding the Latinx/Hispanic community like immigration and Dreamers.
  • Our news section centered Latinx/Hispanic voices in their coverage of important events occurring on campus, like the Homeless World Cup and the lack of blue lights on campus.
  • Our video section’s Stinger Sound Sessions centered two Latinx/Hispanic bands: Los Gents and Mother Muerte. This section also included Latinx/Hispanic voices in their coverage of the ASI 2023 Presidential Election.
  • Ryan Ascalon’s column reviewing television, The Idiot Box, brings a Latinx/Hispanic perspective.
  • Our Spanish section’s Vista Previa, which discussed a week of events for the National Farmworker Awareness Initiative.

What can be improved?

  • Providing more consistent coverage.
  • Providing more coverage of the Serna Center, Dreamer Resource Center and other centers that revolve around the Latinx community.
  • Providing more diverse coverage of the Latinx/Hispanic community, including Central and South Americans.

Coverage on our Asian American Pacific Islander community

Strengths:

  • Our investigation into allegations against an ethnic studies professor involved statements from students from the AAPI community.
  • A lot of our coverage of the sexual assaults on campus used AAPI student voices. This includes our coverage of the Take Back the Night event, which is an event that supports survivors of sexual violence.
  • Our video section featured a profile on Jina Park, a master violin student at Sac State who was performing her last recital.
  • Our sports section featured Marte Mapu and his success as the highest drafted Hornet into the NFL.
  • Our coverage of the Asian American studies program art showcase, which featured short documentaries and gallery art that focused on the Asian American experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What can be improved?

  • Providing more consistent coverage.
  • Providing more coverage on the diversity of the AAPI community, including but not limited to the Desi-American and South Asian communities.

Coverage on our Native/Indigenous community

Strengths:

What can be improved?

  • Providing more coverage overall.
  • Writing profiles on important Native/Indigenous figures at Sac State.
  • Covering intersectional stories that cover the lives of Native/Indigenous students at Sac State.
  • Providing more coverage of the ‘Esak’tima Center and Ensuring Native Indian Traditions club.

Coverage on our LGBTQ+ community

Strengths:

What can be improved?

  • Continue to find creative ways to feature the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Writing profiles that cover the intersectional lives of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Providing more coverage of the Pride Center, along with the services and resources they provide.

Coverage on our people with disabilities community

Strengths:

What can be improved?

  • There is a great need for more coverage on this community overall.
  • Connecting with the Disabilities Action Center.
  • Writing profiles that highlight students in this community.
  • Writing stories investigating how different CSUS policies affect this community.

SECTION BREAK DOWN


Podcasts
: With 24 podcast episodes as of August 28, 22 of them focused on or centered around voices from underrepresented communities or were about underrepresented communities.

92%. Which Podcasts?:

Video: 14 videos so far this semester, 11 of them focused on or centered around voices from underrepresented communities or were about underrepresented communities.

79%. Which Video?:

News: 62 news stories, 41 of them focused on or centered around voices from underrepresented communities or were about underrepresented communities.

66%. Which news stories?:

Sports: 34 stories, 21 of them focused on or centered around voices from underrepresented communities or were about underrepresented communities.

62%. Which stories?:

Arts and Entertainment: 39 stories, 31 of them focused on or centered around voices from underrepresented communities or were about underrepresented communities.

79%. Which stories?:


According to the U.S. News and World report, Sac State is considered to be the fourth most diverse university in the West. The State Hornet is compelled to produce diverse content to reflect its audience. In giving a platform to underrepresented communities, we aim to promote cultural awareness, understanding and inclusivity.

By performing this audit periodically, The State Hornet can hold itself accountable to the goals set by the previous audit. To ensure that we maintain and continue to build trust with our audience, we desire to be transparent by sharing these audits.

Additional contribution: Elizabeth Meza

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About the Contributor
Jasmine Ascencio, DEI Editor
(she/her)
Jasmine joined The State Hornet in spring of 2023 as a DEI staffer. She is now the DEI editor for The State Hornet. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism advocating for underrepresented communities.
 
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