So, I have two beautiful kids. They are 3 years and 10 months old, respectively. They are spirited, larger than life characters who are both blessed with an innate distrust of daytime sleeping. That said, both of them will happily fall asleep in a stroller. And so in the last 3 years, both I and my incredibly hard-working wife have spent a lot of time pushing strollers around trying to make our kids nap.
I like to take stock of the faces I see when I’m walking. Wherever I go, it always strikes me that the faces I see on the street do not look like the ones on TV reading the news or hosting the shows. In fact, there is a pretty huge difference between the face of Australia and the face we broadcast *to* Australia.
This week saw the launch of a not-for-profit called Media Diversity Australia. It’s the brainchild of Isobel Lo and Antoinette Lattouf. I’m part of the founding team alongside business journalist Ky Chow, Junkee News & PolitIcs editor Osman Faruqi and triple j newsreader Brooke Boney. Waleed Aly, Stan Grant and Tracey Vo are just some of the people who have agreed to join our advisory board.
The goal of MDA is to create positive solutions. It’s about understanding the reasons why diverse Australians aren’t finding their way onto our screens. It’s about creating both networking and mentorship opportunities. It's about making it easier to find and use diverse expert talent. It’s about making sure that there is a diversity of life experiences behind the scenes as well. It is *not* about quick fix token solutions. We believe that people should truly be hired on merit, but that there are systemic issues preventing diverse Australians from finding their way into the newsrooms of the nation. What exactly are those issues? Well for that, we’re keen to hear from you.
We have a number of projects that will roll out over the next few months but right now we’d like to get your thoughts. In the 24 hours since we launched, our inbox has filled up with people telling us their experiences. Some horrific and others filled with creative ideas for how to fix things. If you would like to get in touch, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org