The Eagle Explains: Engaging with the AU community
By: Fariha Rahman, Community Engagement Editor
My name is Fariha Rahman and I am the community engagement editor for the news team. This is my second semester in the position and my third at The Eagle. The community engagement editor role was created last fall to recognize a gap in The Eagle’s coverage of student identities on campus. As a newspaper, we recognized a lack of inclusion in our reporting and wanted to create a foundation for future change. Thus, this position was born.
My job on The Eagle is to cultivate relationships with excluded or under-covered students and groups on campus and help increase their representation within our coverage. This can look like reporting on a new cultural club, attending an event or covering a protest with a student group. I am one of the few women of color on The Eagle staff, and I know that I need to take that opportunity to help change the culture of traditionally white male driven news media. I pitch story ideas to our various staff writers and edit them, while making sure each story has a diverse selection of voices. Community Engagement is not a specific section. It is a value that lives within Features, Campus Life, Administration and Local News. Although my position lies within the news division, we have to strive to include our whole AU community in all of The Eagle’s coverage, whether that means creating new positions or amping up our recruitment efforts.
I joined The Eagle because I recognized a unique culture at AU. Our collective student body is made up of leaders, activists and artists who are always doing great things, and I wanted to write about them. Upon becoming a staff writer, I recognized the opportunity I had to help cultivate a better culture in The Eagle’s reporting. I do not represent every identity or community at AU, but I can try to make The Eagle a safer space for writers of various identities to join us with their own experiences. There is not a lot of representation of women of color in news media, and The Eagle is not an exception. This is just one step in making The Eagle a news organization that fully represents the student body at AU.