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.
Since our launch we have created a vibrant online platform which attracts talented contributors from within and outside the UK and boasts 80,000 monthly views. We have successfully pitched and published articles in the mainstream press such as ‘Why are Black women victims seemingly invisible?' in The Telegraph “Yellowface” is funny, according to a bevy of non-east Asians in the New Statesman How should we prepare our children for racism? in the Independent and many more.
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 and ITV 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 voice 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.
We also plan to design and deliver a series of workshops for ethnic minority writers in London. These will aim to develop skills in publishing, journalism, and professional networking, as well as building much needed confidence to help our writers pursue their future careers. We hope to expand the workshops across the country.
By working towards greater representation, promoting change (by encouraging newspapers and broadcasters to sign up to an online directory) and providing a creative and supportive publishing platform for writers of colour, we are meeting policy and social needs for greater equality.
We hope that by achieving greater media representation, nationally and globally, we can connect and affirm marginalised people of colour through social and media networks. At the same time we wish to open authentic narratives of marginalized experience to the mainstream.
Recently we became part of the Guardian Africa Network which we hope will help to secure advertising to cover future costs. As our readership grows we will become more attractive to potential business partners.
With 3,000 pounds we can pay web developers to move to a new server, re-design our website and secure twelve months of web hosting. We would also be able to pay the first half of costs towards building the web directory.
Additionally we can pay/expand the staff team which would afford us the time and resources with which to continue challenging the status quo through cultivating and promoting our content.
With 3,500 pounds We can host writing workshops and media training for our writers so that they are able to make TV and radio appearances, amplifying the marginalized perspectives of people of colour.
With more than 5,000 We would be able to produce even more compelling and engaging content for the re-developed site. We’d be able to complete the online interactive directory, take it live and promote to media outlets. This amount would also allow us to collaborate with similar organisations, in the fight for greater diversity in the media the louder the voice, the greater the impact.
With more than 6,000 pounds A donation of this magnitude would help us to secure a long-term strategic plan with a wider remit. We could complement our digital networks by working with our experts in the fields of education, journalism and the arts to develop initiatives to support writers of colour across disciplinary fields and at different stages of their development.
Photos from the film shoot by David Mensah
SELECTED BY THE RSA
Media Diversified is proud to be featured on the RSA curated area on Kickstarter, which selects the best new ideas to help tackle social problems that its 27,000 Fellows are looking to deliver. Media Diversified Founder Samantha Asumadu is an RSA Fellow and has been selected to be a part of this. Click here to see more RSA-backed projects and find out more about the RSA.
Got more questions or like to write for us? Check out our website or ask away below.
Risks and challenges
Since we are 100%-reader funded we are accustomed to managing the production of our organisation on a very tight budget. We have anticipated that a lack of funding may eventually slow down the high turn-out rate of the content we publish daily on the website, as well as slow down our extensive social media activity.
With a successful crowd-funding campaign this will no longer be a concern. We will be able to go ahead with planned activities and workshops without additional costs such as venue hire, snacks, webhosting or travel costs holding us back.
We realise we will have to lobby and approach media outlets in more ways than one to ensure that they subscribe to the database. We anticipate there will be a slow take up at first and we may need to host events, do radio interviews and publish articles in the mainstream press to get across how imperative it is to sign up.
If setbacks do arise they will be dealt with in the same proactive and efficient way we have been working thus far.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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