Pacific Media Watch

13 November 2017

AUSTRALIA: Top broadcasters call for more cultural diversity in the media

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Australia's Nine Network Tracy Vo ... media diversity "shouldn't be an issue". Video still: Media Diversity Australia

CANBERRA (Media Diversity Australia/Pacific Media Watch): Leading Australian broadcasters are calling for greater cultural diversity in news and current affairs.

The broadcasters, who include ABC’s Stan Grant, Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly and Nine Network’s Tracy Vo, feature in Who Tells The News Matters, a social media video released by not-for-profit organisation Media Diversity Australia.

The video asked: “When you turn on the news, do you recognise the faces you see and the voices you hear? Here’s to a media that looks and sounds like Australia.”

The organisation, along with broadcasters, called on the media to embrace and reflect Australia’s society -- the faces on the streets of the nation.

“This is not about political correctness, it’s about telling the story of who we are.

“That’s what we do as journalists, we are telling the story of this nation everyday, but it is not being told by the people who actually live in this nation.

“It is not being told by the faces that we see on the streets of this nation,” ABC’s Stan Grant said.

Diversity 'shouldn't be an issue'
“We’re actually missing out a huge chunk of who it is we are,” Waleed Aly, co-host of Network Ten’s The Project said.

Nine Network’s Tracy Vo said: “It shouldn’t be an issue, but I think the day when we can stop talking about it, and it’s not an issue anymore, will be a great day.”

The video also included Macleay College’s Monica Attard, philanthropist Talal Yassine, race discrimination commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane and Network Ten’s Hugh Riminton, who described Australia as disconnected regarding media diversity.

Media Diversity Australia was founded in April this year by senior journalists Antoinette Lattouf and Isabel Lo.

The organisation is embarking on an Australian-first study that will measure diversity in television news and current affairs media across all free to air platforms.

In 2018, MDA will roll out a national mentoring program as well produce an Indigenous Reporting Handbook for newsrooms across the country.

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