The D Word – diversity. Long ignored by those in sports media, the aim of the inaugural D Word Conference was to put diversity firmly on the agenda for the industry’s key decision makers.
Funded by FARE, European football’s anti-discrimination and equality network, in September 2014 over 140 delegates flocked to the London College of Communication, located in one of the most multi-cultural parts of the capital, to lend their voices to what proved an inspiring and challenging inaugural debate on this issue.
Top of the running order was changing the rhetoric. For too long diversity has been billed as, “doing the right thing”. But in the 21st century diversity is really just about being better. In the media that means a better newsroom, more dynamic features, a wider spectrum of opinion, and ultimately a better product.
The argument against diversity has always been that employers want The Best. But The D Word challenged decision makers to focus on redefining what we mean by Best. Because for too long Best, or those with the potential to be The Best have been sidelined or ignored. If the industry truly wants The Best, they are going to have to invest in new ways of finding talent.
Of course, a talking shop is of limited use. Instead, The D Word sought practical outcomes, positive solutions, advice and recommendations. So BCOMS put together a guide to reflect some of the important ideas generated. We hope it will help the sports media to make a difference.