* Added 7th January 2019
We're having an event! The panel debate 'Freedom of Speech vs Suppression of Criticism' focuses on what the nebulous concept of 'free speech' actually means for the marginalised vs. the privileged in today's society. This follows the backlash to the Academy of Ideas panel event, initially titled: Is rising ethnic diversity a threat to the West? The title was changed, but the whole fiasco nevertheless underscores a troubling reality. We are now living in a time where people of colour's right to exist and enjoy basic freedoms is just another debate topic for the white journalistic establishment.
The panel in early March will examine the sociopolitical climate that enables such things to take place, and will explore the inequality of so-called 'free speech' that suppresses writers and voices of colour at the expense of privileging the white mainstream media.
As Brexit looms we are taking this increasingly fraught debate offline and into real space. Stay tuned for more details, in the meantime you can pledge for tickets via our rewards and help us fund this event.
Media Diversified was established in 2013 to help change the conversation in the media and foreground the voices of writers of colour. Since then we’ve made a considerable impact for a small non-profit organisation. We were cited in The Guardian for campaigning on the lack of media response to black deaths in police custody, and in the Telegraph on abuse by soldiers in peacekeeping roles. More recently, we were cited by a Times columnist responding to our no-holds-barred piece “Melanie Phillips wants to destroy the Muslim world”.
In 2014 we launched The Trashies – think a news media equivalent to Hollywood’s Razzies – to challenge journalism that’s lazy, bigoted, ill-researched and misinforming. The awards recognise that while It’s easy for writers to avoid reading the comments and to swerve their critics on Twitter, it's a platform where people can come into the conversation and discuss the problems of journalism that makes space for racism, islamophobia, homophobia and transphobia.
We published From the Lines of Dissent, a compilation of select articles, comment pieces and academic analysis originally commissioned for Media Diversified's online platform, covering politics, literature, sexuality, education, religion, media and much more. The book features a foreword by leading journalist Gary Younge of the Guardian:
"There is a sharp intelligence here and some crisp critiques. But it is the fearlessness to take on the dominant narratives - of race among others - in ways that are both playful and polemic that are the most striking."
That’s the kind of impact we’ve been trying to create at Media Diversified. And over these last five years, we’ve been challenging and shaping the regular news agenda in our own way, diversifying the media landscape and platforming voices you wouldn’t necessarily hear in mainstream outlets.
By working towards greater representation, promoting change and providing a creative and supportive publishing platform for writers of colour, we have been connecting and affirming people of colour nationally and globally. We’ve been focused in our mission to open authentic narratives of marginalised experience to the mainstream and become a well-known brand in media circles.
There is definitely 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. 95% of journalists are white, and mainly based in cities such as London which is 40% people of colour. 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.
But we need your help. Media Diversified relies on the generosity of our supporters to move us on to our next phase. The money raised in this Kickstarter will be used to help us work to increase our current output, bring our readers more grassroots journalism as well as our signature comment pieces, and help cover the costs of web hosting, room hire, travel, and to pay our contributors, and help secure the future of Media Diversified.
Risks and challenges
We want to continue to help change the media landscape. Without this your support, we may have difficulty in maintaining our output and challenging the prevailing narratives in the wider media.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)