By Hannah Ajala
It may – or may not – come as a surprise, that in the UK there are 0.2% of Black journalists. Many Black journalists have expressed their experiences and also the need for organisations to push forward continuous initiatives that can make workplaces more inclusive for Black people working in the media.
These five brilliant organisations and communities that you are about to learn about – are tailored to connect and support Black Journalists, media enthusiasts, and of course those working in broadcasting.
The National Association of Black Journalists
Founded across the pond in the US, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has a membership of more than 4,000 people – that includes emerging journalists, professional journalists, student journalists, journalism educators and media professionals of all types.
They are committed to ensuring that journalists across all professional levels continue to strengthen ties amongst one another. They are also passionate about ensuring Black journalists are made visible in senior management positions.
Dorothy Tucker is a veteran TV journalist based in Chicago, and also president of NABJ since 2019. She’s been described by many in her community as a person who ‘is passionate about Black journalists, and the stories they tell.’
How can you get involved in this community?
NABJ have numerous webinars, seminars, and initiatives put forward to engage their community. More can be found on their website: https://nabjonline.org/
Black Ballad are a UK based leading digital lifestyle platform that is tailored to telling them stories, opinions, and experiences shared by Black women.
Their goal is to tell stories for, by and about Black women that other media platforms cannot and will not tell. They have over 500+ articles and videos – all made and edited by Black women.
Just recently this year, Black Ballad raised over £300,000 in investment coming from private investors and an equity crowdfund.
Founder Tobi Oredein is incredibly passionate about ensuring that stories told by Black women are portrayed as authentically as possible – and through their own lends.
How can you get involved with this community?
With memberships from as little as £5 a month, members can have unlimited access to all content on the site which is regularly updated with fresh content. https://blackballad.co.uk/
We Are Black Journos
We Are Black Journos, founded by Hannah Ajala in 2018, brings community to the forefront, providing a space where established and aspiring Black journalists can have healthy discussion, share insights and find belonging.
When Hannah started working at the BBC in 2014 on a diversity scheme, she began working in a building now known as Wogan House named after the late Terry Wogan. The building had 150 people working there – 5 were black: 2 cleaners, 2 security guards, and Hannah.
Years later, she felt the strong need to create a community platform to elevate and connect with Black journalists who she became connected to and more aware of online.
How can you get involved in this community?
We Are Black Journos have a community of over 5000 supporters, and regular connect groups with Black journalists, a freelance pool, as well as forming partnerships with international organisations. Connect with them, support, and keep an eye on their journey. http://weareblackjournos.org/
Black Collective of Media in Sport
Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) are popularly known as a networking and support organisation working towards supporting Africans and Caribbeans in the U.K. Their mission is to diversify the sports media across the country, and equipping journalists with free access into qualifications.
Former sports presenter Leon Mann has been vocal about the lack of representation on and off screen in sport.
Just recently, Chelsea FC Foundation teamed up with BCOMS, as the organisation continues their brilliant work in supporting journalists from under-represented backgrounds.
Sports enthusiasts with a passion to work in the media should definitely get involved. https://www.bcoms.co/cfcfoundationxbcoms/
Creative Access is one of the leading diversity organisations in the UK – and strongly believe in their mission, of working towards a time when the UK’s creative industries reflect their societies.
Creative Access have supported over 50,000 candidates with employability skills, as well as 2000 candidates placed with paid job placements and opportunities, supporting those from under-represented groups, who are facing barriers in employment due to these factors.
As well as providing these excellent job opportunities, Creative Access also has a strong community of current interns and alumni who have continued their work in credible organisations.
Learn more about their brilliant ongoing work: https://creativeaccess.org.uk
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