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.”
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
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.
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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A week ago the Women’s Media Center held their yearly Women’s Media Awards, which perceived and regarded amusement changing ladies pioneers for their exceptional work in propelling ladies’ portrayal in the media.
On celebrity central, I had the chance to solicit numerous from the prominent participants and honorees—including Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, Maxine Waters, Katie Couric, and the sky is the limit from there—to explain to me in their very own words why it’s so critical to have ladies’ voices in the media. Their reactions were loaded up with a feeling of desperation and assurance, presumably filled by the minute we are in where the press has been under assault and ladies’ political assembly is at an unequaled high.
For what reason do we require more ladies in media?
They recount stories in an unexpected way
Soledad O’Brien—three-time Emmy winning stay, CEO of Starfish Media, and past Women’s Media Center honoree—facilitated the occasion. “As a writer, I know how basic announcing and information are,” she said. “Who recounts the story is just as imperative as what the story seems to be—and frequently the previous decides the last mentioned.”
It’s essential for majority rule government
Jane Fonda, who helped to establish WMC in 2005 with Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan, let me know, “Something transformative is going on. Ladies’ voices, ladies’ accounts, ladies’ existence, and ladies’ stories could easily compare to ever on the grounds that, to be honest, in case we will take care of the issues, ladies need to lead the way. We’re not looking at making a matriarchy. We’re looking at making a majority rules system… . On the off chance that our story is forgotten then men lose, and additionally ladies. We as a whole must be fearless and battle for an autonomous media that comes clean.”
Robin Morgan likewise talked about popular government: “There are truly two factors in this nation on which vote based system itself depends: one of those components is a free solid press, and the other factor is the rising obvious political power of ladies, the two of which we are finding in this nation. What’s more, the Women’s Media Center stands comfortable crossing point.”
Ladies should be reflected not deleted
Gloria Steinem accentuated what an essential job media plays in forming our way of life, which makes the equivalent portrayal of ladies in media even more vital: “If ladies’ voices are not in the media, at that point ladies progress toward becoming deleted from society and culture. It’s urgent that the media report and reflect, not hide and misshape.”
Julie Burton, leader of the Women’s Media Center, concurred, saying: “Media is the most essential and amazing power we have. It characterizes us. It discloses to us our identity. It reveals to us our job in the public arena. It discloses to us what is important, it reveals to us who matters. It additionally reveals to us who has control. Each picture you see, each story that you read, each casing that a proofreader puts into a film shakes the story, and if ladies and minorities are not delegating in those accounts, it makes us not an agent in the public eye.” For this reason, Burton clarified, the Women’s Media Center is attempting to “put 50 percent of the narratives in the hands of ladies and to make ladies 50 percent of the specialists who are cited.”
It’s a matter of decent variety
Prestigious columnist Katie Couric revealed to me why having decent variety in media is so basic: “Media ought to reflect America, and we’re a gigantic assorted interwoven of individuals in this nation with various beneficial encounters, alternate points of view and with contrasts financially, topographically, ethnically, religiously. We have distinctive races, diverse sexual orientations, distinctive sex distinguishing proof. So I imagine that with the end goal to recount the narrative of America, you need to give all Americans a chance to be the storytellers.”
One of the honors of the night went to Lisa Borders, the principal President and CEO of Time’s Up and Retiring President of the National Women’s Basketball Association (WNBA), who got the WMC Carol Jenkins grant for the bunch ways she has brought solid, influential ladies into the spotlight, including being a backer for ladies competitors to give them physical and monetary open doors that were once accessible just to men. She let me know, “Media has a focal job, so it’s endless supply of us to ensure that we are sharing positive messages, and when we see the negative messages that we denounce them. It’s essential that we stand up all the time.”
Fringes proceeded to state, “Ladies are in excess of 52 percent of the populace in the US and in addition universally. Our voices ought to be esteemed. We can’t have people speaking to the nation without speaking to ladies. Empirical information illustrates, especially for organizations, that when you have an assorted authority group and different groups as a rule, that organizations perform better. So in the event that you need to ensure everybody achieves their maximum capacity, organizations, individuals, networks, nations, and landmasses have the right to have ladies at the table achieving our maximum capacity.”
Ladies bring an alternate state of mind
Abigail Disney—Emmy-winning chief and maker, giver, CEO and leader of Fork Films, originator of Level Forward—was given the WMC Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award for her documentaries and movies that have propelled ladies’ jobs in general society circle concentrating on social issues and spotlighting phenomenal individuals who talk truth to control.
Disney feels that ladies bring inventiveness and better approaches for speculation to the table, which benefits society all in all. She let me know, “We have to make valuable discussions. We have to make out of the huge profound opening that we’ve uncovered from underneath the absence of imagination. Struggle and viciousness and animosity and an extremely old-school method for understanding things have quite recently burrowed us more profound and more profound and more profound, so we require freshness and novelty and different mindsets,” she noted. “I used to think it was imperative [to have ladies in media] on the grounds that it was uncalled for. Presently I comprehend it’s imperative since it on a very basic level makes an alternate domain. Ladies bring an extremely imperative diverse method for understanding things. They have discussions longer, they are better on an agreement, they fabricate connections—and these are the things that make manageable, feasible quiet social orders.”
The media still covers ladies government officials in an unexpected way
Co-Chair of the Women’s Media Center and TEDWomen custodian Pat Mitchell disclosed to me how having more ladies in media will help in ensuring media inclusion of ladies lawmakers is equivalent to a man’s inclusion. She stated, “I recollect the Hillary battle and what number of individuals who didn’t vote in favor of her didn’t vote in favor of her due to what they read or found in the media. So you should simply take a gander at the results of the races to recognize what a mind-blowing sway the media has. So on the off chance that we realize it has that negative effect, and that it frames pictures, it shapes impressions, it shapes suppositions, and I trust it shapes cast a ballot. There’s simply no inquiry concerning it.”
Mitchell included, “regardless I’m angered when I perused the paper and read the manner in which ladies competitors are as yet depicted and their battles are trivialized. It’s shown signs of improvement this year on account of the sheer volume, however, I figure it will take the media simply leveling the ground, treating each applicant the equivalent, and once that occurs, ladies competitors will develop as the solid, keen, vital pioneers that they are.”
Ladies’ voices should be heard
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who acknowledged her new position on the Women’s Media Center’s Board of Directors at the occasion, stated, “The media is vital, and [Trump] is endeavoring to decimate the media. He’s undermining the media telling the general population that the media is the foe of the general population. That is to a great degree perilous and we know why he is utilizing those strategies since he doesn’t need the media to come clean about him. Furthermore, to the degree that he can hinder your message, at that point he will do that with the goal that he can be heard. We can’t give that a chance to occur.”
“Ladies’ Media Center is critical on the grounds that in addition to the fact that they support us having our voices heard and being at the table and having the capacity to settle on choices about the bearing of this nation, however, I think perhaps without precedent for quite a while ladies are understanding that we do have control, we have to figure out how to practice it, and obviously we require the media with the end goal to give us the stage.”
How can Canada and its media learn from the United States’s mistakes and avoid the hyper-partisanship that has plagued the country?
That’s what three distinguished journalists covered at “Journalism in the Age of Hyper-Polarization,” a panel hosted by McGill University on Oct. 30. The main topics covered included fringe groups, trust, and remaining objective and unbiased as a journalist.
The panelists agreed there can be no overarching solutions to these problems. However, they stressed throughout the event that Canada is relatively free of this partisanship for now.
The first topic discussed was the proper way to cover fringe groups. Philippe Gohier was the authority since he is the editor-in-chief of Vice Quebec, a publication that has covered the province’s political fringes since 2016. He argued that fringe groups should be covered, but with context. The panel also asked the question: how can journalists contextualize fringe groups that have been legitimized? They cited U.S. President Donald Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville incident, in which he condemned violence “on both sides” as an example of this phenomenon. The panel had no overarching solutions, saying it’s variable case by case.
Jennifer Ditchburn, award winning journalist and editor-in-chief of Policy Options, led the conversation on trust. She said journalists ultimately have the final say in writing and publishing a story, but choosing not to cover something may harm their credibility. Mark Lloyd, a panelist and professor of professional practice at McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy, added that “Journalism is imperfect; it’s called the first draft of history for a reason.” All the panelists agreed that readers have a responsibility as well: never get your news from one source, and popularity is not equal to trust.
Regarding objectivity, the panelists challenged the traditional strategy of giving equal coverage to both sides of the political spectrum. They referenced the 2016 U.S. election, arguing that Hillary Clinton’s email scandal shouldn’t have been given equal coverage to the other camp’s numerous scandals. Ditchburn said that equal coverage may not be a fair way of reporting on such issues.
Overall, the message was of hope and cautious optimism. Panelists agreed that media consumers must do their part by consuming a diverse diet of sources. They also stressed that reporters need to continue to inform the public in a diverse and objective way. To the panelists, most of these problems have no overarching fix, or any fix at all. But for the sake of Canada, they stressed that everyone must do their part.
If you’ve ever sat through an interminable, self-congratulatory industry awards program, you’ll be pleased to know that the 2019 Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors is definitely not like that.
The awards recognize and honor best practices for advancing diversity and inclusion, and were created last year by one of the advertising and media industry’s best-known thought leaders, Jack Myers. They’re produced by Myers’ AdvancingDiversity.org, and will be held January 9th in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show—specifically at the ARIA Hotel Conference Center, where more than 400 CES attendees are expected.
The 2019 Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors take a fresh approach to awards programs. In an experiential format created in 2014 by the Sundance Institute and the design and consulting firm IDEO called “Creative Tensions,” a moderator leads 100% of the attendees in exploring attitudes, conflicts and challenges. The objective is to find a path to the middle in solving common problems. At the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors, the honorees themselves will serve as catalysts—or provocateurs—in the group discussions.
Eight executives in media, marketing and advertising are being inducted, including:
Madonna Badger, CCO and Founder, Badger & Winters, for gender equality in advertising.
Kat Gordon, Founder of the 3% Movement.
Alma Har’el, Director and Founder of #FreeTheBid.
Pam El, CMO of the NBA, for gender and diversity leadership.
Bob Liodice, CEO, Association of National Advertisers, for its Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing.
Ricardo Marques, Anheuser-Busch InBev group vice president of marketing core & value brands, for Budweiser’s diversity & inclusion campaigns.
Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, P&G, for diversity leadership.
Diego Scotti, CMO, Verizon, for its AdFellows Initiative.
The program is followed by the Inclusive Talent Job Fair, with recruiters from the world’s biggest agencies, tech companies and media brands. It’s designed to be a natural complement to the awards—honoring diversity in the workforce, and creating opportunities for those entering the field.
“It’s important to me for MediaVillage to be a leader in gender diversity, and to be at the forefront of advancing the industry and getting out ahead of recognized trends,” Myers says. “One of the biggest and most important trends was understanding the need to attract a diverse talent pool, and our industry is underperforming.”
Diversity remains a challenge in media and advertising, Myers says, because like other industries, it’s relationship driven—people tend to hire people like them, from the same colleges and social circles. “And it’s New York and Los Angeles centric,” he adds. “The cost of living is high. Salaries are historically low. A lot of young people have not been able to make a go of it. Talent acquisition has been reasonable, but talent retention has been terrible.”
In addition to the value of diversity to the industry overall, Myers says, he saw the awards initiative as an important business opportunity. “We’re investing in it, it’s good business for our industry and for our clients to have a voice in the diversity conversation,” he says.
Both events are owned by AdvancingDiversity.org parent MediaVillage, a membership-based research and marketing-communications organization founded by Myers for advertising and media companies and professionals.
This year’s recipients join the 2018 inductees, including from the Advertising Council (Lisa Sherman); Crowdfunding Roadmap (Ruth Hedges); Ernst & Young (Megan Hobson and Hiren Shukla); Interactive Advertising Bureau (Randall Rothenberg and Megan Hauck); Interpublic Group (Michael Roth and Heide Gardner); Nielsen (Angela Talton); Springboard Enterprises (Kay Koplovitz); and Unilever (Aline Santos).
Media and Diversity: What exposure can do
Recently for the Washburn Review, I was tasked with watched “Welcome to Waverly,” a new Bravo docuseries that follows the adventures of seven diverse urbanites in Waverly, a tiny town in Kansas with a demographic that hasn’t changed in centuries. However, I wasn’t able to access the show because I don’t have a TV service provider. This is not a review of the show, but I will use the show’s premise as a segue to my opinion about diversity and how media exposure of small town culture to the larger world and vice versa can bring about the kind of diversity societies and institutions should pine for. I will focus mainly on affirmative action and diversity fatigue.
From what reviews I have read online, it seems that Bravo has brought a refreshing, nuanced tone to their show that other reality shows don’t seem to have. They have cut down on the drama, the episode-spanning spats and the melodramatic reactions that would have usually come with shows about people living together. The reaction from the Waverly locals are muted and respectful. There are jabs here and there, but they are limited. The reviews laud the less divisive presentation of America. Here’s the thing, Waverly hasn’t directly felt the effects of systematic and internalized racism, sexism or other discriminatory practices that plague society.
While the show deserves praise for not sensationalizing events, it may fall victim to not diving deeply enough into the issues of diversity that big cities deal with directly, such as affirmative action, identity politics or brash inclusion initiatives.
Then again, big cities haven’t shown much progress in dealing with those issues. For example, taking affirmative action comes with a slew of problems. I understand the urge to instill programs in offices and colleges. However, I think it only serves as sort of a compensation, a short-term solution to a problem that has its roots in historical and social contexts. The idea of greater representation is nice, and no one disagrees that diversity is a good thing, but it can be ineffective when the root of the problem is not examined.
Representation without deeper understanding is just like a veil covering the darker underbelly of racism or sexism. In fact, poorly executed inclusion initiatives have shown to induce diversity fatigue in employees and managers. This occurs when people feel so much responsibility for instilling and maintaining diversity that they simply become tired of it. As employers and managers attempt to tackle diversity, they are always going to run into the root causes of the issue, which is too much for any one person to handle.
One thing that the show does right to solve these problems is that it gives exposure to the lives of small-town people. Of course, it could do more to add to the character of the town, but this could be a first step toward opening citizens up to the idea of diversity.
Media still holds a lot of power today, and shows like this may change the way people view each other. After all, education is crucial in battling oppression. There are possible missteps, though, that should be considered. Often, even with the best of intentions, show makers may present a group in such a way as to give way to negative interpretations. This happens because of the inherent bias of lack of financial backing that might prevent the people working on the show from covering a topic from all angles. I just hope that “Welcome to Waverly” has done that.