Opinion

Why Diversity in Media Matters…

Diversity In Media Awards

It can’t have escaped your notice that the UK is currently navigating some pretty choppy waters.

The Brexit vote has revealed that large swathes of our population feel disenfranchised and disempowered and, while reactions have been more or less peaceful up until now, you only need to look across the Atlantic to see where this sense of disconnection from society can lead.

The media – print, broadcast and online – has a particular responsibility to work towards societal and social cohesion. Now more than ever in this ‘always-on’ digital age, what we read, see and hear needs to be a reflection of our wider society. Many media organisations recognise this and are casting off the pale, stale and male tags, so that what they produce and who produces it is a more accurate reflection of 21st century Britain.

But we still have a long way to go. Too often, depictions of ethnic and religious minorities, gay people, the disabled and even the elderly are at best tokenistic and, at worst, downright insulting. Yes – great strides have been made, but there’s a long way to go before our multi-strand, multi-platform media holds up an accurate mirror to the ever-changing face of the UK.

That’s why we at the Global Diversity Company have added a new title to our portfolio – the Diversity in Media Awards. Taking place in February in central London, the awards will honour those in the media – organisations and individuals – who through their work have gone the extra mile to promote the diversity agenda. Their work is often unsung, unappreciated and mocked by those who still believe that ‘political correctness has gone mad’.

So, I’m asking all of you who work in any strand of media to visit www.diversityinmediaawards.com. Nominations are now open, and if you work for a larger organisation, feel free to ask me about sponsorship.

It’s only by the actions of the more fortunate that the less fortunate can hope to grow and thrive. By shining a light on positive diversity messages in the media, we encourage other media organisations to evolve, to send the right messages to the wider public and to play their part in creating a stronger and more cohesive society.

@RobJHarkavy

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