#AllWhiteFrontPages Campaigns Against Lack of Diversity in UK Media

Published:17 July 2013


blackwhiteThe social media campaign #AllWhiteFrontPages aims to raise awareness of British media lack to include ethnic minority groups in their stories. The creator of the campaign, Samantha Asumadu, explained in an article at The Guardian that she started this campaign because frequently every image featured on the front pages of the national newspapers is of a white person.

Asumadu chooses as an example the day she launched the Twitter initiative when the front pages of the newspapers were dedicated to Andy Murray’s triumph at Wimbledon. “The Times’ double spread showing a sea of white faces in the Wimbledon crowd does not reflect a London I recognise”.

Her campaign was quickly picked up by The Guardian, and followed by an interview at BBC Radio where she affirmed “media cannot reflect society, if society is not reflected in the media”. The campaign was even reported on the German newspaper TAZ.

The tendency of British media not to show ethnic minority voices has been monitored in many other occasions. For example, as Asumadu explains, the Britain’s biggest-selling black newspaper, The Voice, published an article entitled The Evening Standard of Whiteness that reported on the number of images of white and not white people appear on the newspaper. The outcome was 150 white people and only 8 non-white.

There is algo a wide gap looking into the  staff media industry. According to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), 94% of journalists are white. Last month, Amol Rajan, was appointed editor of the Independent, being the first non-white editorial head of a British national paper.

Asumadu also denounces that in most of the cases when media cover stories on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups, the stories are negative, reinforcing stereotypes.  The author of the Voice’s article said that one student asked him “Sir, if all the images of black males shown to me are negative, therefore my perceptions of black males are negative, how am I supposed to succeed?”

Due to the lack of ethnic minority representation and the ubiquity of whiteness, Asumadu created Media Diversity UK, and @WritersofColour platforms. They seek a change in media patterns and provide a space for writers of colour to publish their work.