Last week I found myself at an event where one of the current buzzwords was mentioned – diversity. This time, it had to do with journalism.
It will come as no surprise that journalism is a ‘white sport’. Just visit a few newsrooms in London. Count the people who are not white. Check how many have an accent other than a British one.
I pledged a long time ago to always fight for diversity. Not because we have to, but because, especially in my industry, we need to. I don’t believe in diversity just for the sake of it. I believe in the best person getting the job. But it’s hard to figure out who that is when only a handful of people get the chance to take part in the ‘competition’.
And what’s even more infuriating is that everyone is talking about diversity, yet no one seems to be doing anything about it. I’ve heard the line “we must have more diversity” a thousand times. Yet, for many young journalists, the first step to securing a job seems to be signing up to do an unpaid internship, although those same interns realise very quickly that, unless they’ve gone to the *right* university, they’ll never get a job there. Journalists, especially those in the higher ranks, are doing little to pressure their colleagues and peers into changing the culture. No one wants to challenge the status quo from the inside. Because if they’re on the inside, they’re part of the gang. They’ve made it.
And here’s another dirty little secret: you don’t learn journalism in school alone. You don’t. You learn some basics. But nobody – whether it’s top universities or a course you’re taking in your hometown – can teach you the people skills, the patience and the innate talent you need to be an extraordinary journalist. You learn and grow on the job.
So, if we don’t give people a chance to learn, all we’ll have is a one-sided account of the world.
Needless to say, this needs to change. And, while I’m using this example because it hits so close to home, journalism is not the only field. And again, it will be no news that at The Market Mogul we believe in the power of perspectives. I know Rav is driven by the wish to disrupt and change traditional media, and I am here for similar reasons.
I am proud to say we are one of the most diverse work environments I have ever seen. And if that’s something you feel represents you, then join us.
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