MEDIA RELEASE: Media mentoring program to increase diversity in newsrooms launched
A unique mentoring program launched today aims to increase multicultural diversity within the Australian media.
Designed by the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) and implemented by SBS and Deakin University, the program will support students from a culturally and linguistically diverse and/or refugee background in the media program at Deakin University.
The program is intended to support students during studies, assist them to develop their career plans, equip them with hands-on skills, provide networking opportunities and facilitate pathways to careers in media.
It is also envisaged that in the longer term it will contribute to diversity in the Australian media.
At Friday’s launch, ECCV Chairperson Joe Caputo said the program came about after some negative portrayals of multicultural communities in the mainstream media and a subsequent media forum, Spotlight on Stereotypes.
ECCV organised the forum following a ruling by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), had found all three commercial television stations in Melbourne had breached their code of conduct and that their reporting of an incident had “…created an unfair presentation, overall, of Sudanese people as being particularly prone to commit violence and crime”.
At ACMA’s urging, the three TV stations agreed to look at how they trained their journalists about reporting on diversity issues.
“A report came out of the forum, with a recommendation that greater diversity in the media could help shift perceptions and practice,” Mr Caputo said.
“The ECCV had an idea that supporting refugee and migrant background media and journalism students through mentoring could help them move easier into media jobs when they graduated.
“This would increase the diversity within newsrooms.”
ECCV approached SBS, who embraced the program, and launched it in New South Wales last year with Macquarie University.
“We launched the NSW program at Macquarie University. Now, in Victoria we welcome Deakin University as the educational partner,” Mr Caputo said.
Interviews and photos available upon request.
Contact Jessica Rath: firstname.lastname@example.org
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