The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The Talon’s 2024 second semester diversity audit

Editor’s note: This semester, The Talon included Journalism One students in our publications. 28 Journalism One students joined Talon’s staff of 23, causing a 122 percent increase in staff size and changes in staff demographics. Changes are reflected in the following graphs.

Last semester, The Talon set out to represent the Los Altos High School community more accurately in our sourcing. In some ways, we succeeded; in others, we didn’t.

Grade Level

Freshmen source percentage increased five times from last semester, from 2 to 10 percent. This was likely a result of the integration of Journalism One writers into The Talon’s publications — many Journalism One students are underclassmen, which helps partly explain the drastic rise in freshman sourcing.

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Gender Identity

Last semester, one of The Talon’s major shortcomings was a severe imbalance in the gender identity of sources — female sources occupied twice as much as male sources. As noted in past diversity audits, the cause can reasonably be attributed to our staff, in which those who identify as female make up a clear majority of the staffroom.

This spring, male sources, though still accounting for less than the ideal half of interviewees, now account for 40 percent of sources, a 10 percent increase from last semester. However, non-binary sources fell from 5 percent to less than 1 percent. As the government does not include non-binary as an option on surveys, we do not know what an accurate representation of non-binary members of the LAHS community is. Nevertheless, we must continue to source more diversely across the entire gender spectrum.

Racial Identity

The Talon’s greatest and continued shortfall was with coverage of the Hispanic and Latino community. Even though Hispanic/Latino students make up almost a third of the school population, less than 9 percent of Talon sources identified as Hispanic/Latino — just about as much as last semester.

While the percentage of sources who identified as African-American or as two or more races came to relative parity with the student body, the overrepresentation of Caucasian and Asian/Pacific Islander students continued, likely due to the relative overrepresentation of these two races in The Talon’s staff as well.


To be clear: There’s nothing wrong with interviewing sources in demographic groups that are currently overrepresented. Our goal isn’t to decrease coverage to meet some quota; it’s to represent the community to the best of our abilities. The only way we can achieve that goal is by increasing our coverage to include the issues of everyone — not by actively looking for sources based on race, but by expanding our scope of coverage in general.

If The Talon is the student voice of the school community, it has to represent the school community. To achieve this next year, we need your — the school community’s — help. No matter your grade, gender identity, or race, please share with us your stories and the issues you want to be covered. We’ll aim to make this process easier for you all — such as making forms to give tips and working more closely with identity clubs — and with your help, we’ll get closer to becoming a voice for everyone in LAHS.

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