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BCOMS founder, Leon Mann calls for more diversity in the media

Mann says the industry must stop making “excuses” and up their game

ResponseSource recently released their new Whitepaper ‘Diversity in Journalism’ which talks about the different ways different communities are being impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic and the responsibility the media has to share all of these stories.

Along with BCOMS founder Leon Mann, their white paper saw contributions from Hannah Ajala, founder of We Are Black Journos; Wendy Sloane, Associate Professor of Journalism at London Metropolitan University; James Turner, Chief Executive of the Sutton Trust; Jon Holmes, Senior Home Page Editor at Sky Sports and founder of Sports Media LGBT+; Harry Roche, Communications Assistant and Ambassador at Mencap; and The Media Diversity Unit.

Mann’s piece focused mainly on improving diversity in journalism through recruitment processes. The former broadcast journalist called out the media’s effort in regards to receiving resumes.

“Saying ‘We don’t get the applications’ is not an excuse,” he began.

“The media needs to represent the industry it reports on. African and Caribbean people are significantly underrepresented in the sports media despite these communities’ disproportionate interest and achievement on the field of play.”

“It’s estimated that up to 30% of professional footballers in the English professional leagues are black, while professional boxing and athletics boast a high percentage of black athletes.”

“Many other communities are under-represented – sports media is largely middle class, women are too often pigeonholed into certain roles, while the British Asian community is almost non-existent in sports media.”

The sports consultant and filmmaker called for more creative ways in regards to recruitment processes for their candidates.

“Bring your recruitment process to the candidates,” he stated.

“Use social media to advertise jobs and allow candidates to be more creative in an electronic application form – attaching YouTube clips or online links; students and aspiring journalists are reading different content to your 50-year-old media executives.”

“The traditional long application form can marginalise people who don’t already have connections and experience in the media industry, significantly impacting your pool of potential recruits.”

Mann went on to highlight diversity as an investment.

“A more inclusive workforce is money well spent,” he continued.

“Monocultural workforces stifle debate and discussion, and can perpetuate stereotypes.”

“As media outlets need to discover and improve on new revenue streams and reach a global audience, diverse voices and expertise help allow you to provide credible expert reporting on the sportsmen and sportswomen you cover.“

To read Leons’ and the full ResponseSource article, click here:

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