According to a damning survey of 700 news professionals, conducted by City University London, the British journalism industry is 94% white, 86% university-educated and 55% male.
The results of the survey, which were announced at the Changing Media Summit on 24 March, revealed that 65% of journalists who have joined the profession over the last three years are female.
However the results outlined the fact that women remain underpaid and lack the possibility of promotion. They also revealed that almost all ethnic minority groups and religions are significantly under-represented.
Researchers reported that just 0.4% of British journalists are Muslim and only 0.2% are black, nearly 5% of the UK’s population is Muslim and 3% are black. The issue of equality and diversity within the journalism industry was accentuated in February of 2016 when 94 men and just 20 women were shortlisted for the British Press Awards.
A Muslim survey participant has shared a daunting recruitment experience, he stated “Consistently I’ve not really got anywhere, to such an extent that once I applied for the same job using an English-sounding name and I did get an interview”.
There is an obvious lack of national multicultural newspapers that operate to reflect the demographic and shape of our diverse society today, and that must surely stem from the narrow gateway of opportunity for BAME and female workers.
These bewildering findings pose the question, if 94% of the British media is white how can ethnic minorities be represented adequately and how can mainstream media not be biased?
TNT News Billy Rooney