Diversifying the media – we’re not quite getting it right yet. Although industry experts may lean towards the fact that it’s improving, we’re nowhere near the finishing line.
Just a couple of statistics for you – around 80 per cent of journalists come from professional or upper-class backgrounds, according to the most recent diversity report by the National Council for the Training of Journalists. 87 per cent came from white ethnic groups. (NCTJ, 2022).
AI tools are all the rage right now – so we thought we would see if AI could come up with a solution to a problem that humans are failing to, or does the industry have the right idea, and is failing to put it into action?
So, ChatGPT, how we can diversity the media?
Encourage diverse hiring practices: Media organisations should actively seek out and hire individuals from underrepresented communities, including people of different races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities. This applies to all roles, from journalists and editors to executives and decision-makers. Creating diverse teams helps bring a variety of perspectives and experiences to the newsroom.
Foster inclusive content creation: Media outlets should prioritise diverse storytelling by covering a wide range of topics, issues, and communities. This involves featuring diverse voices and experiences in news stories, opinion pieces, documentaries, and other forms of media. Actively seeking out and amplifying underrepresented voices can help bridge the gaps in coverage and provide a more comprehensive understanding of society.
Increase representation in media content: It is important to portray diverse characters and role models in various forms of media, including films, TV shows, advertisements, and online content. Accurate and authentic representation allows people from different backgrounds to see themselves reflected in the media, promoting inclusivity and combatting stereotypes.
Support independent and community-based media: Encourage the growth of independent media outlets and community-based journalism initiatives. These platforms often focus on local issues and can provide a voice to underrepresented communities that might be overlooked by mainstream media. Supporting and consuming their content can help diversify the media landscape.
Promote media literacy and critical thinking:Education plays a crucial role in diversifying the media. Promote media literacy skills and critical thinking among the audience to enable them to navigate through the vast media landscape and recognise biases or limited perspectives. By empowering individuals to consume and evaluate media critically, they can demand more diverse and inclusive content.
Advocate for policy changes:Encourage policymakers to implement regulations that promote diversity and representation in the media industry. This can involve measures such as promoting equal employment opportunities, supporting minority-owned media outlets, and requiring diverse representation in media content.
Foster collaboration and partnerships:Encourage collaborations between different media organizations, community groups, and underrepresented communities. By working together, these entities can pool their resources and expertise to create more diverse and impactful media content.
Engage in audience feedback and dialogue: Media outlets should actively seek feedback from their audiences, especially from underrepresented communities. Engaging in dialogue with the audience helps to understand their needs and concerns, allowing media organizations to improve their content and ensure it reflects a broader range of perspectives.
By implementing these strategies, media organisations can take significant steps towards diversifying their content and creating a more inclusive media landscape. It requires a collective effort from both industry professionals and the audience to bring about meaningful change.
How is Yellow Jigsaw improving diversity in the media?