Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Daily Nexus

Three years after the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion task force, here is how we have honored DEI.

By: Siddharth Chattoraj and Pricila Flores

July 12, 2023 at 2:00 pm

Diversity and inclusion first became an initiative with the Daily Nexus in 2020, following the murder of George Floyd. Created by the editorial staff and calling themselves the Diversity Task Force, they promised three things: 

  • Ensure that our editorial and general staff reflect the diversity of our community
  • Strengthen representation in our coverage by improving relationships with campus and community organizations through consistent outreach
  • Provide training on diversity and inclusion for all Nexus staff

Additionally, in their plans for the school year, one of the initiatives was to conduct an anonymous staff survey to gain a better understanding of the Nexus’s demographics. They outlined that survey topics should include race, gender, job status, academic background, prior non-Nexus journalism experience, first-generation status and hometown location. 

They hoped the survey would provide an opportunity for members to assess the Nexus’s workplace dynamics and provide feedback that will be used for the creation of future initiatives. Their and our current goal is to identify which communities are represented within the Nexus, and how we can better recruit writers and editors to mirror the diversity of experiences of our student body. 

Three years later, our Diversity Task Force grew to become the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team, and the DEI initiatives and progress have surpassed what our predecessors once planned. 

Through years of DEI staff training, we have been able to highlight the point that the Diversity Task Force introduced. That is, having a diverse set of editors and writers, those who ultimately write our content, is the first step in fostering DEI. We have been resources for section editors when they aren’t sure how to diversify their writer group. Our first piece of advice is always to reach out to other major email listservs besides English, communication, sociology and other writing-based majors. Many people think that to join the Daily Nexus, they need to be a stellar writer or have been editor in chief in high school. When in reality, almost half of our staff had no previous journalism experience. An overlooked stepping stone of DEI within the Nexus is the “E,” for equity. We tasked sections to define what equity means to them and challenged them to look internally in order to better the external. Why were people intimidated to join our organization that so many of us call family? After discussions and setting action-based goals, each content-producing section has training workshops in place for those interested in joining. 

But this work has not always come easily, and the DEI chairs have had the challenge of redefining DEI to how it will best fit within the editorial staff, relying on the conceptual job description created by the Diversity Task Force, all while being hired during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Having to create our own job descriptions, we moved away from generally thinking of the three prongs of the acronym, and we made the concept niche, allowing for introspective thinking. We defined DEI to fit within the questions: How does identity affect you as a journalist, and how does identity affect journalism?

This got our staff thinking about how their identities impacted the content they choose to produce and publish. 

Below are graphs that contrast the DEI-related topics and issues covered from 2018 (a time before DEI was an editorial position) to 2023, a time in which DEI is a strong presence in the editorial staff. 

With the exception of 2020, there has been an increase in the average number of DEI keywords in Nexus articles each year since 2018. As of March 9, there were four times as many DEI keywords on average in Nexus articles in 2023 than there were when tracking began. 

Relative frequency of DEI keywords in Daily Nexus articles


Dylan Fu and Siddharth Chattoraj / Daily Nexus

Since 2020, there has been a general increase in the average number of DEI-related keywords present in Nexus articles per month within each year and, as the 2023 trendline shows, we plan to continue increasing the holistic production of DEI-related content throughout the year. 

We also recognize that while we have made significant progress in increasing our holistic coverage of DEI-related content, we still have room to improve upon the slight drop over the last couple of years in DEI-related content between July and September.

DEI keyword relative frequency


Dylan Fu and Siddharth Chattoraj / Daily Nexus

The highlighted region in each chart represents the 95% confidence interval for each trendline, which means that we are 95% confident that the average number of DEI-related keywords per article falls within the shaded region when considering the corresponding values on the trendline.

Coming back to the Diversity Task Force’s goals, we have conducted an anonymous editorial staff survey for the academic school year of 2023. The survey, conducted in tandem with the Data and DEI teams, was created in hopes to see the areas in which our staff could grow to become more diverse in the identities on board. The last time the survey was conducted was in 2018, and 28 of the then 39-member editorial staff responded. Below are our findings from the 2023 editorial staff survey and how we can grow from here. 

Editorial Staff Survey

54 out of the Nexus’s 58 editors — incoming, continuing and outgoing — responded to the anonymous survey. Editors were able to select multiple responses if more than one response fits their background or identity.

While the data below will display the makeup of the Nexus editorial staff, the Nexus does not make hiring decisions on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity or hometown location. 

The Copy team, which reviews articles for grammar and style, has the largest number of editors out of all sections. Most sections have between two to three editors.

Editorial staff


Siddharth Chattoraj / Daily Nexus


Of the 2023-24 Nexus editorial staff — which will consist of 41 editors: 16 fourth-years, 12 third-years and 13 second-years — 66% will be returning editors from the previous year. 

Out of all 54 editors surveyed, a very small minority are first-generation or transfer students. We recognize that as the Nexus covers a significant amount of news that may impact first-generation or transfer students, we must take extra consideration into ensuring that the voices of first-generation and transfer students are represented when reporting on those issues.

Staff profile


Siddharth Chattoraj / Daily Nexus

The most popular majors among editors are majors related to writing, English or communication. However, there are a significant number of S.T.E.M. and art majors among the staff, as well as 16 editors being double majors.

We are proud to have editors from many years and majors on our staff representing a wide range of perspectives and experiences, allowing us to be well-versed in a variety of disciplines to effectively engage with the diverse Santa Barbara community.  

The chart below displays the word makeup of the names of the editors’ majors and minors. Words that were more common are displayed in a larger font. Our editors study a variety of disciplines including statistics, history, biology, politics, technology, communication, writing, theater and more.



Siddharth Chattoraj / Daily Nexus

Since 2018, the Nexus has significantly grown its editorial staff and, concurrently, the total number of editors identifying as a woman has more than doubled. The Nexus also has four editors who do not identify as solely men or women. 

The proportion of editors who identify as women on the editorial staff has increased since 2018, currently standing at 72.2%, but the proportion of editors who identify as men has decreased to 20.4%. 

While the proportion of editors who identify as a man is low, it is important to note that other University of California college newspapers — including the Daily Bruin and The California Aggie — also have similar staff proportions listed in their diversity reports, albeit they surveyed both writers and editors. 



Siddharth Chattoraj / Daily Nexus

The Nexus has also seen an increase in the number of editors identifying as people of color, who currently make up 68.5% of the editorial staff — an increase from 53.6% in 2018. A significant rise in the proportion of Asian and mixed editors and a decline in the proportion of white editors fueled this increase. 

While we are proud of the progress we have achieved in our efforts to continuously promote DEI, we recognize that it does not extend to all racial demographics. The Nexus still does not have the perspectives of every race and ethnicity on campus. We do not have the perspectives and voices of the Black, Indigenous or Pacific Islander community on staff. Additionally, the number of editors of color, specifically Hispanic editors, has decreased by approximately five percentage points since 2018.

On the flip side, the current proportion of Asian editors is significantly higher than the current proportion of Asian students at UC Santa Barbara, taken from the campus profiles released by the UCSB Office of Budget & Planning. But, the current proportion of Hispanic editors is much lower than the current proportion of Hispanic students at UCSB. 



Siddharth Chattoraj / Daily Nexus

As the Nexus frequently covers news and events that may affect African American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic and Indigenous groups, we understand that we must take extra steps in our hiring and recruiting process so that our reporting has authentic voices to write and provide context and perspectives we do not hold. While not a requirement by any means to be a part of the Nexus, we have found that 61% of our editorial staff are multilingual and 15% are trilingual. The most common languages spoken by our editors include Spanish, Mandarin and French.

La Vista, the Nexus’s Spanish-language section, brought more Spanish-speaking editors onboard. It was founded in 2022 to make news accessible to the Hispanic and Latine community on campus but also to the large Hispanic and Latine community in Isla Vista. As the founder of the DEI team, a former DEI co-chair and as a Latina whose parents rely on Spanish news markets like Telemundo and Univision, I felt it was my duty to pioneer a space for our news to be accessible. Being a reputable news source on campus, it felt odd to leave out the community of Isla Vista, considering most students live in residences off of campus and interact with community members daily. La Vista became a branch between the community off campus, which encompasses families and the students on campus. La Vista reports on special events off campus like mariachi and folkórico performances around town where the Latine community gathers.

Foriegn languages spoken


Siddharth Chattoraj / Daily Nexus

Although there is diversity in the languages spoken by our editors, the majority of our staff are from California. There is one editor each from Maryland, Virginia, New Mexico and Washington. Additionally, there are two editors from outside the United States, with one from Taiwan and another from Singapore.



Siddharth Chattoraj / Daily Nexus

This proportion is similar to the student hometown breakdown at UCSB: California residents make up 81% of the undergraduate student body and 70% of the graduate student body, according to the 2022-23 UCSB Campus Profile

However, all hometowns of editors from California are clustered into one of three locations: the Bay Area, the greater Los Angeles area and San Diego. Eight editors are from San Diego — the most of any city. Most editors from the Bay Area reside in Santa Clara County. 

California Hometowns


Siddharth Chattoraj / Daily Nexus

While our editors may come from similar places — an important factor for us to keep in mind when reporting on issues that may not be “close to home” — they also come from diverse backgrounds and hold a variety of different interests.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as editorial positions, has celebrated two years of existence at the Daily Nexus. We have accomplished renovating the way we think about pitches, content and projects we produce by tying it to identity to internally reflect on who is on our staff through the anonymous survey to equip ourselves with these questions for 2023-24 school year: 

How do we make the Nexus more welcoming to those who have never written any journalistic piece before?

How do we continue to diversify our newsroom to include voices we’ve never had on our staff?

With all that being said, I am immensely proud of each and every section editor and our writers for producing unique and important content. 


Pricila Flores, Editor in Chief and Siddharth Chattoraj, Data Editor

For any general questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to

For any data-related questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to

For any DEI-related questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to


Siddharth Chattoraj
Siddharth Chattoraj is the data editor for the 2023-24 school year. He was previously the assistant data editor and eventually co-data editor during the 2022-23 school year. He loves exploring the intersection of art and technology to discover solutions to new and existing problems. He also enjoys journalism, theater, marketing, running, and forming spontaneous plans with friends. Siddharth can be reached at