Want your reporting to better reflect the diversity of your audience? There’s a free ebook for that

Two of my colleagues at Birmingham City University have produced a rather wonderful free guide to help journalists and journalism educators make reporting more inclusive and diverse. As they explain in the introduction:

“If we just talk about diversity we can fall into ‘doing diversity’ stories. These,
as any story, should be part of what we cover, but a better approach surely is to
seek to be inclusive in all our news coverage: to reflect the interest and voices of
our audience, wherever we are based. Any town, city or region offers us a diverse
audience. That diversity might be in terms of social class, economic status, gender
and age as much as religion, ethnicity or disability. So in this ebook we are looking to
question our attitudes and assumptions about a range of issues and then offer some
ideas for embedding a wider world view into news days.”

Bob Calver and Diane Kemp, along with Marcus Ryder, have compiled a selection of punchy chapters from journalists talking about how those issues mentioned above — class, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, disability — play out in the newsroom.

Contributors include The Guardian’s Amelia Gentleman (on reporting poverty), the BBC’s Anna Holligan (gender) and Saad Bashir (disability), and BuzzFeed’s Elizabeth Pears (ethnicity).

Other issues covered by the book include regionalism (including metropolitan bias) and how inclusivity can be improved when reporting on immigration (by Sky News’s Afua Hirsch), Islamophobia (Channel 4’s Assed Baig), sexuality and sport.

metropolitan bias

This chart from a recent Politico article highlights how shifting regional bias in media employment helped shape the media’s perception of support for Trump

Each chapter ends with suggestions for exercises to bring “everybody in”, from seeking out different voices and reviewing output to suggestions of useful contacts and ways to ensure you know the facts on key issues.

The combination of real-world anecdotes with practical tips make the book, as I say, rather wonderful — and very timely. You can download the book for free here.

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One thought on “Want your reporting to better reflect the diversity of your audience? There’s a free ebook for that

  1. Pingback: “If you ask most people” – a great example for journalists on bursting your filter bubble | Online Journalism Blog

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