Media Diversified is a young and growing organisation which seeks to cultivate and promote skilled writers of colour. We do this by providing advice and contacts as well as through promotion of content online through our own platform. Live since July 2013, the initiative is already diversifying the UK’s media landscape, providing important, challenging and new content which contributes to global as well as domestic discussion on issues of social justice and equality.
Our work has only just begun and there is more to do in order to reverse decades of under-representation of ethnic minority voices in the UK media. The statistics are sobering: ethnic minorities are under-represented by 300% in the media industry. Even in London, the most diverse city in the country, only one newspaper editor is not white. One of our young writers could be a future national newspaper editor or BBC Director General and we want to support them in their aims.
According to the latest NUJ statistics, 94% of journalists are white, yet one in six of the British population is not. This lack of representation, together with how matters of race are covered in the media has been seen as ‘institutional racism’ (McPherson report,1999).
The money raised here will be used to help us to maintain our current output, but also create a custom interactive directory of ethnic minority writers and experts. Media outlets such as the BBC will be able to subscribe to this directory in order to commission guests for TV and radio shows or to write articles. Subscribers will be able to search entries in the directory by either name or category, and filter their search results by location, language and remit. Our experts have documented experience in writing, and often additional skills such as teaching, public speaking or media appearances.
Our platform will ensure the talents and voices of these writers, experts and journalists are no longer ignored. The directory will provide mainstream media access to experts and professionals from marginalised backgrounds and at the same time support groups who may not benefit from the privileges of old boys’ networks.
If you are sick of Anjem Choudray being portrayed as the face of Muslims in Britain; of Owen Jones being one of the few voices heard in the battle against cuts and neo-liberal policies; of the same go-to people being asked to discuss issues that affect women, then please support our campaign.