October Newsletter: Celebrating Black History Month

Click here to read our full newsletter and here to subscribe!

Celebrating Black History Month

The contributions of people from Caribbean and African backgrounds have been fundamental to the British Society, however, their contributions are often ignored. Black History Month was first established in the US. In the UK is was first celebrated in 1987 as part of the African Jubilee Year and has been celebrated ever since.

Media Diversity Institute celebrates and welcomes Black History Month every year. We want to highlight the importance of people from Black backgrounds in the media. We want to stress the fact that diversity should not be celebrated once a year but it should be a constant in our society.

For this reason we want to highlight the following excerpt of Hannah Ajala’s interview with Channel 4’s Ayshah Tull which looked at Channel 4’s Black to Front initiative:

Hannah Ajala: How can other news organisations see the Black to Front Initiative as a huge takeaway?

Ayshah Tull: “This should be a wakeup call that you need to look at the structure of your organisations and make sure diverse voices are really being heard. Behind the scenes,  having Black staff members in senior positions really shifted the dynamic of what we we’re used to, and now we’ve done it, we refuse to go back. Looking at different news programmes after ours went out feels odd, I’m questioning who is being chosen to be in front of camera? Who is making the decisions about story selection? And why are certain guests always on over others? The status quo has been shaken and it should’ve been a long time ago!”

Global Exchange on Religion and Society Holds Its First In Person Activities

First Hybrid Event in Brussels!

Between 27-28 September Global Exchange on Religion and Society (GERIS), a European Commission project which partnered with PARTICIP and Media Diversity Institute had its first event in Brussels. Media Diversity Institute’s Dasha Ilic and co-trainer Yvonne Rarieya used an innovative hybrid way to train almost 170 participants from different regions of the world. Collaboration between the media and the civil society is crucial for accurate and reliable information. For this reason participants were trained in media relations techniques for civil society through two workshops on Media Relations and Campaigns, and Writing Press Releases and Interviewing Techniques. In addition they were introduced to journalism ethics, putting stories into local contexts, providing a human angle in stories, and how to be good and reliable sources of information among other things.

As one participant said:

“The Media workshop has been an eye opener and very imperative to work as Global Civil Society Actors. The media needs us as we need them thanks to GERIS and EU Commission for putting this together.”

First Exchange Visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The first exchange visit took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the second week of October with participants from all over the world who gathered to discussed a variety of issues around diversity, the media, civil society active citizenship, dialogue and more. Through the visit participants heard from community leaders, journalists, and civil society actors about the most pressing issues in the country while having the chance to get to know Bosnia and Herzegovina by visiting different cities and towns.

According to participants:
A very insightful experience! The Geris Network visited the Interreligious Council in BiH. The religious agents have been doing an incredible work to promote social cohesion throughout the country!”

Comin back to Argentina! The visit to #BiH has concluded. The @GerisNet grassroots level experience was a real success!”

GERIS is a two-year project of networking, societal capacity building and social media engagement. The goal of the project is to contribute to social inclusion and societal resilience by setting up a global community-based exchange initiative.