In 2022, Black journalists composed only 6% of American journalists. Sixty-three percent of Black Americans believed news about Black people are more negative than other racial or ethnic groups. Only 9% believed coverage of Black people told “the full story.”
Black History Month is a crucial reminder for journalists to honor and rededicate ourselves to recognizing these statistics as we pursue coverage year-round. This collection of stories, entitled Roots of Resilience, is not simply a recognition but a celebration of all the Black community has created and upheld on campus and in Gainesville.
While it’s not nearly enough to cover the entire Black history and influence in our community, this edition focuses on Black stories, past and present. These stories, like those of Matthew Lewey, Solana Williams and Afro-Latino students, are crucial in The Alligator’s commitment to uplifting Black history.
The Alligator is committed to engaging thoughtfully and holistically with coverage of Black culture and history. Not just this month, but every month — Black influence is permanently rooted in UF, Gainesville and beyond.
When asked how to improve Black coverage, 59% of Black Americans said personal journalist engagement with Black sources is crucial. We asked our reporters to describe what Gainesville’s Black community means to them; our front page is a collection of those words, aiming to uplift the voices of whose stories we tell.
Rectifying the historical and present issues facing Black news coverage can’t be accomplished by a single edition of a single student newspaper. However, we hope to thoughtfully tell Black stories year-round and create a new generation of journalists dedicated to honoring those stories as they enter the workforce.
The Editorial Board consists of Editor-in-Chief Claire Grunewald, Engagement Managing Editor Aidan Bush, Digital Managing Editor Jackson Castellano and Opinions Editor Peyton Harris.