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ByDiverse Media Corp

Leon Mann: ‘We need people in power to show they care about diversity’

The former BBC and ITV presenter has become a campaigner for greater BAME representation in British sports media and is determined to see radical change to a stark issue

Leon Mann tells a story which, by his own admission, is as depressing as it is amusing. It goes back to his early days at the BBC and when he first found himself in the company of the presenter Damian Johnson.

“I remember asking him which football team he used to play for,” says Mann. “Growing up, all the black people I saw on TV talking about sport were former athletes, so I presumed Damian was the same. But of course he wasn’t. He was – is – a fully-trained, highly-experienced journalist. Damian being Damian, he took it well.”

Mann laughs as he delivers that final line but there is no denying the seriousness of his point and especially so after he reveals that people have made the same mistake about him during a career in broadcasting that began more than a decade ago and seen the 39-year-old cover a host of major events, including the 2012 Olympics and Euro 2016, for ITV as well as the BBC.

Quite simply, there are very few people from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background working as sports journalists in this country, with the bulk of those in the public eye having kicked a ball, run on a track or punched someone professionally in a former career. It is a damning state of affairs and something Mann has been campaigning to change since 2010, when he founded the Black Collective of Media in Sport (Bcoms), a lobbying group aimed at increasing diversity in an industry which, to put it bluntly, has been too white for too long.

ByDiverse Media Corp

Pushing Diversity Forward in Publishing

People of Color in Publishing and We Need Diverse Books, two volunteer organizations focused on making the book industry more diverse, held a joint town hall meeting on April 11 in the auditorium of the Penguin Random House building to mark their progress and discuss plans for the future.

The meeting attracted a crowd of nearly 90 industry professionals for a panel featuring WNDB founder/CEO Ellen Oh that was moderated by POCinPub founder Patrice Caldwell. Along with Oh, the panel featured WNDB executive director Nicole Johnson and WNDB program director Carolyn Richmond. They updated town hall attendees on the impact of WNBD’s programs, as well as on the fast growth and development of POCinPub since its founding in 2017.

Caldwell opened the meeting with an outline of POCinPub’s beginnings as a private Facebook group in 2016 that quickly grew to more than 900 members. POCinPub, she noted, is organized around a number of committees—among them the Communications and External Events Committee, which maintains POCinPub’s social media accounts, organizes social events such as the POCinPub Holiday Social, facilitates jobs contacts, and manages email and other promotional support for books aimed at minority readers.

POCinPub’s Membership and Retention Committee, Caldwell said, has launched a mentorship program that connects more than 20 veteran editors with junior professionals that will run from January through June. Caldwell added that, since its formal launch in late 2017, POCinPub has “placed over 40 people of color into book industry jobs.” A POCinPub committee for writers and illustrators also offers a mentoring program that pairs 35 mentors and protégés, and hosts portfolio reviews and social events including a series of write-and-sketch nights.

The POCinPub Outreach and Events Committee works to create social events and sponsors webinars on diversity to help people of color find positions in publishing, or simply to provide a community to those who have book industry experience.

Coming up in 2019, Caldwell said, POCinPub is working to become a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and, in conjunction with Latinx in Publishing, is working to launch the Anonymous Survey Examining Workplace Racism, a study that will try to get information on whether staffers feel they are victims of racism in the workplace.

Oh noted that WNDB was founded in response to the “BookCon debacle” of 2014, when ReedPop scheduled a slate of “all white dudes” for the young adult panels at its consumer-oriented book fair. Both organizations, Oh and Caldwell emphasized, essentially began as hashtags on social media. “So much has changed and not changed,” Oh said. “But the energy level in this room feels good. Five years ago we were just a hashtag.”

The panelists praised the power of social media, citing WNDB social media campaigns such as the popular “We need diverse books because…” campaign. “It showed that the diverse books movement is comprised not just of people of color but of people with disabilities, the LGTBQ community, etc.,” Oh said. “Diversity is for everyone; you can read books about everyone.”

“It’s still special when kids get a book with a character in it who looks like them,” Johnson said. “There are still young people who are not getting that experience; it’s still a challenge.”

Oh said that in the future, WNDB will strive to directly engage with publishers to expand diversity in their publishing programs. The organization also plans to hire additional personnel, extend its social media capacity, and add video content to its social media and outreach campaigns. Oh emphasized the need to “share success stories” about diversity in book publishing, noting that WNDB will continue to publish a series of anthologies featuring diverse authors. The organization will also focus its efforts to encourage sales and marketing departments to support diverse titles.

Most importantly, Oh said, WNDB and POCinPub will continue to support people of color and other minorities in book publishing. “We’ve got your back,” she said. “We’re your community.”

ByDiverse Media Corp

Diverse TV writers report ongoing discrimination

Despite ongoing calls for inclusion in TV writers’ rooms, a new survey of television writers paints an unfortunate picture of bias encountered by creatives who belong to traditionally under-represented groups.The survey, by television writers who make up the Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity (TTIE), was released Thursday and highlights systematic barriers for diverse writers, seven people representing the body told CNN in an interview ahead of the report’s release. (The survey defined “diverse” as people who identified as female/non-binary, people of color, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.)More than 64% of the those surveyed said they have experienced bias, discrimination, and or harassment while on a writing staff. And 58% said they experienced push back when pitching what the survey called “non-stereotypical diverse characters or storylines.”Others reported significant hurdles when trying to advance in title and rank — in some cases (about 15% of respondents) even taking demotions in order to be on a writing staff.The report, titled “Behind-the-Scenes: The State of Inclusion and Equity in TV Writers Rooms,” was compiled in part “so we could get hard data to back up anecdotes,” says Jude Roth, an up-and-coming TV writer whose pilot about female veterans was featured on last year’s “TheBlack List.””These aren’t isolated experiences of bias, discrimination, or feeling isolated in the hiring process,” she says. “They are actually happening. It’s less of a feeling and more of a fact.”Nearly 300 diverse writers completed the survey and, in all, it represents 10% of all working TV writers, as well as 24% of all women and non-binary individuals and 51% of all people of color working in TV, the group says.

ByDiverse Media Corp

Group art show features diverse issues

An eight-day group art exhibition featuring diverse issues is drawing a huge crowd to Zainul Gallery of Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University.
The exhibition has been jointly organised by DU fine arts faculty and Zainul Gallery where all the participants were from the 79th batch and most of them have been working as artists in different press and electronic media.
A total of 41 artworks by 23 artists have been displayed in the exhibition addressing issues like save Sundarbans, air and water pollution, women and others.
The artworks have been created in different mediums like oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas and others.
Noted artist Rafiqun Nabi inaugurated the exhibition on March 8 while freedom fighter- artist professor Syed Abul Barq Alvi and faculty of fine arts dean Nisar Hossain were present as special guests at the inaugural ceremony.

ByDiverse Media Corp

Fuse Media unveils upfront line-up

Planning to use music culture-driven content to increase engagement with young, diverse audience multiplatform entertainment media brand Fuse Media has unveiled its 2019-2020 upfront slate of linear and digital programming.

Targeting diverse, millennial and Gen Z viewers, the linear Fuse television network’s audience is claimed to be one of the most multicultural on cable, as well as one of the youngest with a median age more than 15 years below cable’s average. The new slate includes an expansion of what the company says is its successful strategy of taking advantage of both homegrown original and acquired content that was initially launched on digital platforms, to develop new shows for its linear channels.

Recent Fuse successes include recently-renewed original series Complex x Fuse and T-Pain’s School of Business, as well as its Fuse Docs franchise.

To remain successful and keep in step with rapidly-changing consumption patterns, Fuse says that it is embracing experimentation in content development as it navigates the shifting expectations of young, diverse viewers. “To successfully target this highly elusive audience, we’ve needed to experiment across platforms and find innovative ways to engage viewers,” noted Fuse Media chief content officer J-T Ladt.

“We began with our Complex partnership and have seen continued season-to-season growth for Complex x Fuse, which is now in its fourth season. Continuing with this strategy, Fuse is migrating non-traditional IP that already has a built-in multicultural audience to the linear channel.

Read more: Fuse Media unveils upfront line-up | Programming | News | Rapid TV Newshttps://www.rapidtvnews.com/2019031455454/fuse-media-unveils-upfront-line-up.html#ixzz5iUxyfJD4
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ByDiverse Media Corp

Media Under Pressure Across Balkans, State Department Warns

Political influence and direct or indirect control over the media, as well as smear campaigns, threats and violence against journalists, have caused the media environment to deteriorate in most countries in the Balkans, the latest Human Rights Reports prepared by the US State Department says.

Its report about Serbia observed: “Although independent media organizations continued to exist and express a wide range of views, press organizations and international monitors claimed government pressure on media was deepening.” It added: “There were reports that the government actively sought to direct media reporting on a number of issues.”

In Albania, misuse of the media by their owners is emphasised as a major issue.

“Most owners of private television stations used the content of their broadcasts to influence government action toward their other businesses. Political pressure, corruption, and lack of funding constrained independent print media, and journalists reportedly practiced self-censorship,” the report noted.

“Independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of viewpoints, although there were efforts to exert direct and indirect political and economic pressure on the media, including by threats and violence against journalists who tried to investigate crime and corruption,” it added.

The section on Albania emphasises also threats by the country’s telecommunications authority to shut down websites, BIRN’s Albanian-language publication Reporter.al, and the defamation lawsuits filed by Judge Gjin Gjoni against BIRN Albania and Shqiptarja.com newspaper journalists.

Both cases were adjourned by a first-instance court because the plaintiffs failed to appear in most of the hearings.

Direct and indirect control of the media by politicians is reported as a key problem in Romania.

“While independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of views without overt restriction, politicians or persons with close ties to politicians and political groups either owned or indirectly controlled numerous media outlets at the national and local levels,” the report said.

“The news and editorial stance of these outlets frequently reflected their owners’ views and targeted criticism at political opponents and other media organizations,” it added.

Unlike other countries, the report says the media climate in North Macedonia has improved.

“While outlets and reporting continued to be largely divided along political lines, the number of independent media voices actively expressing a variety of views without overt restriction increased,” it said.

Oligarchic control of the media is the issue in Moldova, the report said.

“While the print media expressed diverse political views and commentary, oligarch-controlled business groups that distorted information for their benefit controlled most of the country’s media, albeit with some notable exceptions,” the report noted.

“Oligarchs closely supervised content and maintained editorial control over reporting from the outlets they owned,” it added.

The State Department warned that Montenegrin authorities performed poorly in prosecuting organised crime-related killings, but in the last year it increased its prosecutions of homicide cases linked to organised crime.

It also noted that NGOs pointed out that a number of police officers in Montenegro have been found responsible for violating the rules of their service, including cases of excessive use of force while on duty.

In its section on Montenegro, the report also highlighted that “attacks directed at journalists continued to be a serious problem,” adding that that independent and pro-opposition media have complained about unfair treatment and economic pressure from government ministries and agencies.

When it comes to Kosovo, the report listed attacks against Serbs among problems in the country.

“In the first seven months of the year, there were more than 100 incidents involving thefts, break-ins, verbal harassment, and damage to the property of Kosovo Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church,” the report said.

It also noted endemic corruption in the ranks of Kosovo’s government, and threats and attacks against journalists.

The US Department of State has published yearly human rights reports since 1977 and they cover a wide range of issues, including freedom of the media and freedom of expression.

Earlier this year, the NGO Freedom House downgraded Serbia’s status from Free to Partly Free, along with Hungary.

ByDiverse Media Corp

Air Canada Is Named a Top Employer in Montreal for the Sixth Consecutive Year

MONTREAL, Jan. 31, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today was named one of “Montreal’s Top Employers” for the sixth consecutive year in Mediacorp Canada Inc’s annual employer survey. The 2019 survey recognizes companies in Montrealwith exceptional human resources programs and forward-thinking workplace policies, and includes a comparison of others in their industry and region.

Air Canada Is Named a Top Employer in Montreal for the Sixth Consecutive Year (CNW Group/Air Canada)

“Air Canada is a global company headquartered in Montreal with over 9,000 employees in the area, and we are very proud to be chosen as one of Montreal’s top employers again. Our leadership in emerging areas such as using artificial intelligence and predictive thinking to continue transforming our business means being recognized as an employee-focused place to work with diverse and interesting career opportunities enables us to attract and retain the best and the brightest people in all areas of our business,” said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Senior Vice-President, People, Culture and Communications.

Top Montreal Employer Award
Mediacorp cited several unique employee support and engagement programs at Air Canada. These include: state-of-the-art training facilities; generous discounts and perquisites for employees and their families; programs to promote health, fitness and wellness; and a consultative approach to workplace developments, such as recent head office renovations where Air Canada sought employee feedback on everything from storage space design to the final décor.

Working at Air Canada
Air Canada’s reputation as a top employer has made the airline a destination of choice for people seeking a challenging career. It receives 23,000 visits each month to the employment page of its website and on average there are 340 applicants per position for each vacancy filled. In 2018 alone, Air Canada has hired more than 5,700 people.

For more information on career opportunities with Air Canada please visit www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/about/careers.html.

In addition to being named one of Montreal’s Top Employers for 2018, Air Canada has received other recent recognitions for employee relations and engagement including being named:

  • one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers in Canada (2019) for the sixth consecutive year by Mediacorp Canada Inc;
  • one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2018 by Mediacorp Canada Inc. Air Canada was recognized for having a defined strategy to achieve diversity and inclusion including partnering with organizations to match unique qualifications of candidates with disabilities to specific roles, and for successfully promoting women, including in non-traditional roles.
  • one of the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America for Second Consecutive Year by Achievers;
  • the second most attractive company brand to work for in Canada according to the Randstad Employer Brand Research independent survey;

Additional information on Air Canada’s Human Resources is in the “Employees” section of the 2017 Corporate Sustainability Report at: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/about/corporate-responsibility/corporate-sustainability-reports.html#/par2_accordion.

About Air Canada 
Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 210 airports on six continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2018 served more than 52 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 63 airports in Canada, 56 in the United States and 98 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,317 airports in 193 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2018 Best Airline in North America. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.                                      

SOURCE Air Canada

For further information: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal), Isabelle.arthur@aircanada.ca, 514 422-5788; Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto), peter.fitzpatrick@aircanada.ca, 416 263-5576; Angela Mah (Vancouver), angela.mah@aircanada.ca, 604 270-5741; Internet: aircanada.com

Related Links

www.aircanada.com

ByDiverse Media Corp

Cubic Corporation Named a 2019 Best Employer for Diversity

Cubic Corporation (NYSE:CUB) today announced it was named a 2019 Best Employer for Diversity by Forbes. In partnership with market research company Statista, Forbes surveyed U.S. employees working for organizations employing at least 1,000 people within their U.S. operations. The second annual list ranks the top 500 U.S. employers that received the most recommendations from survey respondents and have the most diverse boards, executive ranks and proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives.

“As a company with a global presence, it’s especially important for us to cultivate a diverse and inclusive culture,” said Grace Lee, senior vice president, chief human resources and diversity officer, Cubic Corporation. “A diverse and inclusive workplace leads to increased innovation, performance and employee engagement and we are constantly focused on increasing our diversity of thought and experiences to further strengthen our inclusive environment.”

Respondents were asked to rate their organizations on criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation equality as well as general diversity. The survey was conducted on companies from all industry sectors, including engineering and manufacturing; aerospace and defense; transportation and logistics; banking and financial services; education; healthcare; as well as IT, Internet, software and services.

The survey was administered online and results were calculated using a representative sample of close to 50,000 employees working for companies throughout the U.S. working part- or full-time. The full list of 2019 Best Employers for Diversity can be found at Forbes.com.

ByDiverse Media Corp

Amazon Backs Trade Publication’s Hollywood Diversity Effort

LOS ANGELES — Stung by fierce criticism about a lack of diversity on both sides of the screen, movie studios have scrambled to create fellowship programs for underrepresented directors and writers. A few stars and entertainment companies have publicly supported “inclusion riders” requiring a diverse cast and crew.

But little-coordinated action has been taken to increase the number of entertainment executives of color.

So The Hollywood Reporter, a trade publication, decided to address the problem by creating a two-year job-training program called the Young Executives Fellowship. Starting in April and continuing annually, 25 underrepresented and low-income high school juniors in Los Angeles will be selected to participate. Amazon Studios and the WME talent agency are sponsors, and Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Martin Luther King III will sit on the advisory board.

“This is not a mentorship — it’s regimented job training designed to get results,” said Matthew Belloni, The Reporter’s editorial director, adding that Hollywood had to stop talking about the need for more diversity and start doing something about it. “So many panel discussions, so little action,” he said.

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ByDiverse Media Corp

Who Owns the Media in Tanzania?

Only a few media companies have a predominant market position and thus a potentially high influence on public opinion in Tanzania. Whereas the regulatory framework should in theory safeguard media pluralism and prevent media concentration, it shows considerable gaps in practice. Moreover, the legal environment restricts data collection and research. These are some key results of the three-month long investigative research that the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have jointly conducted. The resulting “Media Ownership Monitor” maps who owns and ultimately controls Tanzanian mass media. The detailed results of the study were unveiled in Dar es Salaam today and are now available to the public at tanzania.mom-rsf.org in English and Swahili. The website features a database of major media outlets, companies, their owners and affiliated interests, including comprehensive information about the media landscape in the country.

“The study has not only provided crucial information on trends of media ownership in Tanzania but has also showed us gaps which we need to work on so that we have a truly pluralistic and diverse media landscape, which is important for our democracy,” said Kajubi Mukajanga, Executive Secretary at Media Council of Tanzania, on the rationale of the study.

“We believe that data empower people. Transparency of media ownership is essential for an objective discussion around concentration control and media pluralism in general. We are happy to help providing this tool for the general public, but also for key stakeholders to seriously address this issue,” added Dr. Michael Rediske, President of Reporters Without Borders International.

High audience concentration for the print, TV and radio sector

The Media Ownership Monitor (MOM) reveals a high level of audience concentration for the print, TV and radio sectors. This means that Tanzania’s population receives its news mostly from an outlet belonging to one of the four major companies in each sector – which then gain a potentially high influence on public opinion.

The print market is concentrated around Mwananchi Communication Ltd., a subsidiary of the Nation Media Group, by far the most dominant market player in terms of readership. The IPP Media Group, New Habari (2006) Ltd. and the state-run Tanzania Standard Newspapers (TSN) follow with considerable distance.

IPP Media Group dominates the broadcast sector, especially in free-to-air TV. The state-run Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), Azam Media Ltd. and Clouds Entertainment join in the top four in terms of viewership. While the radio sector in itself seems slightly more diverse as popular stations vary from region to region, Clouds Entertainment, IPP Media Group and TBC are once again the key players, demonstrating a predominant position across media sectors.

The online news and information market appears more diverse and competitive with a large number of suppliers. Some of the most popular online outlets are Jamii Forum, Millardayo, Michuzi Blog and Muungwana Blog, which are run by independent bloggers.

No plans to address gaps in regulation

The concentration tendencies in the print and broadcast sector are not surprising, considering that the prevailing legal situation almost completely lacks safeguards against any form of media concentration. Attempts to limit cross-media ownership came late in 2009 – only after media conglomerates had already expanded in a concerning manner – and were not followed through. Currently, there are no plans to address evident regulatory gaps.

Instead, the Electronic and Postal Communications Regulations Act that came into effect in March 2018 introduced a license fee for all online content providers, including bloggers. Thus, not only did it create significant barriers for potential new market players but it also drove existing outlets out of business. A large number of blogs and online forums have closed, as they could not meet the requirements of the regulation and pay their fees.

Media owners with political and economic interests

Some of the largest media groups belong to owners who control conglomerates with a range of interests in other business sectors. For example, Dr. Reginald Mengi, who founded and now chairs the IPP Media Group, has built his fortune with a bottling industry, activities in household and cosmetic products, and mining. He also has interests in the oil and gas-, the automobile-, and the pharmaceutical industry, among others. Another case is that of Said Salim Bakhresa, a self-made millionaire who launched Azam TV, a pay TV service for East Africa. His Bakhresa Group is today one of East Africa’s largest conglomerates, including ventures in food and beverages, packaging, ferry services and petroleum trading. There is a risk that media owners with diverse business interests may use their communication channels with the objective of promoting and facilitating their other companies – at the expense of socially relevant content.

Out of the 36 monitored media outlets, around a third (13) are either state-owned or have shareholders with political affiliations, amongst them former and current high-level politicians. The government is the longest standing media owner for both broadcast and print outlets. The ruling party CCM operates its own media house, Uhuru Media Group. Freeman Mbowe, Chairman of the opposition party CHADEMA, has direct ties to the newspaper Tanzania Daima through his wife Dr. Lilian Mtei, who is the majority shareholder of Free Media Limited. These are only a few examples of political affiliations.However, considering that most media outlets with politically affiliated owners only reach a small audience, their impact on public opinion is limited.

Ownership information publicly available – but at a cost

The MOM-researchers obtained most of the ownership information from the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA). While most company profiles were available towards the end of the project, the process of registration, application and information collection was costly and time-consuming. The quality of received official data remains questionable. While companies are legally obliged to update their company profile annually, our research showed that most companies do not meet this obligation, without having to face legal consequences. This raises questions of compliance and liability, complicating or even inhibiting meaningful regulation of media concentration.

Legal Black-Out of Data

Like in other project countries, the MOM-researchers gathered, validated and analyzed a vast set of data on the media market. However, for the first time since the MOM project was launched in 2015, the researchers cannot publish the figures on particular audience data. A rather unique Tanzanian law makes the publication of statistical information subject to prior approval by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Despite a recently enacted amendment, the publication of audience data might still fall under the Statistics Act. While this legal provision seems vague and little experience on their actual implementation exists, the MOM researchers decided to seek permission from the NBS. Until such official authorization will be granted, audience data remain blackened on the website and can only be released as soon as the NBS endorses it.

“Such a practice of controlling the open exchange of research data constitutes a real barrier to professional data journalism”, said Lisa-Maria Kretschmer, MOM Tanzania Project Manager.

Media Ownership Monitor:

Initiated by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Media Ownership Monitor project is a global research and advocacy effort to promote transparency and media pluralism at an international level. In Tanzania, it was conducted together with the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT). The project is financed by the German government. Country studies were so far published in Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Cambodia, Ghana, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Peru, and the Philippines.. This year, next to Tanzania, the project is implemented in Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Argentina and Pakistan.