AddThis SmartLayers

Editors to get help in making their newsrooms more diverse

Dawn AlfordRegional news chiefs will be offered help on recruiting journalists from diverse backgrounds as part of a new initiative from the Society of Editors.

The SoE’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Hub, which gets up and running today, will provide free advice, case studies and resources around diversity and inclusion in the media.

The hub’s creation was revealed last June as part of a series of new measures aimed at increasing the Society’s commitment to diversity in journalism.

It will offer information and support related to training, recruitment, practical support, career progression and mentoring, as well as highlighting good practices and sharing practical initiatives that contribute towards broadening diversity in the media.

The SoE says the hub will be regularly updated with further resources and aims to assist journalists at every stage in their career – including school-leavers from diverse backgrounds wanting to begin a career in journalism, senior editors finding new ways of recruiting more widely and mid-career journalists from diverse backgrounds seeking to progress into leadership positions.

SoE executive director Dawn Alford, pictured, said: “For over a year, the Society has been consulting with dozens of news media organisations and outside organisations to better understand the vital work that is continuing to ensure that UK newsrooms reflect the communities that they serve.

“The Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Hub is an ongoing resource that will be regularly updated and will bring together information on areas such as training, scholarships and apprenticeships, recruitment and mid-career support.

“The aim is for the hub to evolve and grow as news media organisations broaden their representation. I’d like to thank everyone who has given their time to advise the Society and who has contributed to this important work.”

The SoE launched a campign to increase its commitment to industry diversity last year following the resignation of Ian Murray, Dawn’s predecessor.

Ian departed his role after issuing a strongly-worded rebuttal of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s claims of racism in the UK media that was widely criticised by national and regional journalists.

Other features of the new hub include information on schemes that aim to proactively support women, people of colour, improve disability inclusion efforts.

It will also highlight existing initiatives intended to develop a greater understanding of the specific experiences and needs of LGBTQ+ employees.

SoE president Martin Breen said: “Our members recognise that it is essential that newsrooms reflect the diverse make-up of the audiences they seek to serve. Initiatives and important work are ongoing to improve this representation but, like all industries, there is always more that can be done.

“The hub will not only highlight what organisations are doing to better ensure representation at an entry-level but the important work that must continue to ensure talent is retained and that journalists from diverse backgrounds are supported throughout their career and involved in the decision-making process.”