Diversity, equity and inclusion have been buzz words for at least the last decade – longer depending on whom you ask. Frequent examples of racism, sexism or ageism (to name only a few of the ‘isms’) in the media have shown us what happens when DEI isn’t a business priority or a strategic imperative. Over the past few weeks in Canada, we have seen our own example play out.
Diversity in the Newsroom: Jeanne Bourgault, president and CEO of Internews, states that “[m]aintaining diversity in the newsroom and providing inclusive content is imperative for the longevity of any media platform.”
More diverse and inclusive newsrooms can provide better representation of society, build audience trust and even make news organizations more profitable. News outlets that do not actively make diversity in the newsroom and inclusion a priority could face a decline in both viewership and profits.
Diversity in the newsroom is no exception; according to a 2016 Pew Research Center analysis, “just 23% of newsroom employees were people of color, while 61% of newsroom employees were men.” Having a diverse workforce bodes well for producing accurate and well reported news content. The world is becoming more diverse, and it is a newsroom’s responsibility to reflect this – failure to do so can result in news outlets becoming immaterial.
Furthermore, the rise of user-generated news platforms, or for that matter, anyone with a smartphone, often outperform traditional outlets in attracting new audiences. Audiences are drawn to user-generated news platforms because the content reflects their own experiences and perspectives.
To reflect society, the make-up of a newsroom must include journalists from different cultures, religions and genders. Audiences are aware: outlets need to remove their biases and objectively report on stories that explore perspectives different from their own. This lack of knowledge or unconscious bias can lead journalists to produce culturally insensitive and inaccurate reports.
Bell Media’s Fumble: being diverse and inclusive is not only about who is in the newsroom, but how they are treated. In Canada, we have witnessed national outrage over the firing of Lisa LaFlamme – a sentiment that has now been shared around the world. Bell Media reported they wanted to take CTV News in a “different direction,” however it seems that ‘direction’ was away from a woman with grey hair. I will say, that ‘woman with grey hair’ is also my father’s partner which makes my outrage at the situation both professional and personal.
For the past two weeks we have seen Bell Media fumble their way through the public and internal backlash which reeks of the need for a strategy, or at least a communications plan to manage such a high-profile situation. The public noticed that Lisa was treated differently than her male peers and so did companies – Wendy’s, Dove and Sports Illustrated have all come out to support women going grey (#keepthegrey).
Business decisions aside, the way you treat your employees reflects the value you place on them. Bell Media has been called out for terminating an employee for what are alleged to be sexist and ageist reasons, and for the mismanagement of the entire situation. This is exactly the point where we see the business value of a solid DEI strategy.
Bell Media is not an outlier. Another example is found with the Guardian. They ran into trouble and were forced to issue an apology for mistakenly using a picture of UK rapper Kano when referring to Wiley. Wiley, at the time, was under scrutiny for his anti-Semitic comments. Even though the newspaper claimed this was an “honest mistake.” it started an online conversation regarding the lack of diversity in the Guardian’s newsroom. Journalists from minority groups expressed that had there been a more diverse newsroom, this blunder would have been caught before the paper was published.
In popular culture, whether it be film, television, advertising, streaming services or any one of the countless 24-hour news channels, each is a product of those wielding the power. A direct reflection of a narrow point of view. The people who are “calling the shots” are the same ones who decide on who is cast or what story is followed. These individuals are generally more concerned with ratings and revenues than optics and principals.
Traditionally, these individuals were affluent, middle aged, white men, completely disconnected from the new world reality – but media and entertainment companies today are increasingly recognizing the importance and challenge of closing the gap between intention and action on fostering diversity and inclusion.
In the aftermath of civil unrest, which followed the murder of George Floyd, businesses were criticized for failing to act appropriately or failing to act at all.
Ironically, when Russia invaded the Ukraine, these same businesses who failed to act when George Floyd’s murder was aired on TV, stumbled over one another to pull their assets out of Russia whilst making a point to let everyone know that they had acted swiftly and decisively in protest to the Russian onslaught.
What is becoming clear is society is no longer turning a blind eye to companies that do not act. It does so with its pocketbook by boycotting brands, through the media by marching and protesting outside corporate head offices or stores, by humiliating leaders and through their new weapon of choice: social media. Publicly traded companies agonize over and fear any actions, comments or stories posted on social media, especially those that take on a life of their own by going viral circumventing the planet in the blink of an eye, all of which can have an adverse effect on stock prices, to the displeasure of their stakeholders. Today, there are entire departments dedicated solely to monitoring the chatter and noise on all these outlets.
The World Economic Forum-Accenture paper on The State of Diverse Representation in Media and Entertainment asserts that “[o]rganizations not only have a social responsibility to represent the consumers of their content, but by doing so also stand to gain significant financial benefits.”
Diversity, equity and inclusion should be considered as a business imperative; companies failing to understand and take action on DEI risk damage to their reputations, bottom lines and attractiveness as an employer.
Elisabeth Cooke is the CEO of Dignii Technologies Inc. She also teaches employment law at UBC Sauder School of Business.
Twitter Is Exclusive Social Media Partner For Live Look-Ins At All 2022 MLB Postseason Games – Forbes
Those away from their televisions will have a way to see live-streamed look-ins of every game of the 2022 Major League Baseball postseason.
In an expansion of their partnership, starting today, Twitter
will show live segments and highlights via @MLB, @BleacherReport, @BRWalkoff, @ESPN, @MLBonFOX, and other accounts. Other content will be produced by @MLBNetwork.
For the social media platform, they’ve seen high levels of engagement all season long with much of it reaching outside the U.S. and Canada. According to Twitter in an exclusive to Forbes, 18% of people who tweeted about MLB globally this season had not done so during the 2021 season, thus showing growth in fan interest on the platform.
In a sign that two-way pitching and hitting sensation Shohei Ohtani is reaching fans outside MLB’s traditional market range, over one-quarter of the conversation – 28% — has been generated outside the United States. Two of the top 10 most used hashtags during the 2022 MLB season during social conversation globally have been in Japanese (#大谷翔平 – Shohei Ohtani and #エンゼルス – Angels).
For hashtags, Twitter reports that the two most used during MLB conversation have been #MLB and #LGM, the hashtag for the New York Mets. There was a 45% YoY increase in usage of the hashtag #MLBTwitter globally.
For accounts referenced, @yankees has been the most mentioned team globally in 2022 on Twitter thus far, followed by @dodgers and @redsox. All but the latter will be in the postseason beginning with the ALDS and NLDS that follow the Wild Card Series.
As for players, unsurprisingly, @TheJudge44 is the most mentioned player handle globally given his single-season American League home run chase. Judge reached 62 home runs during the final away series for the Yankees when they played the Texas Rangers this week. Judge was followed by @MikeTrout of the Angels, and Albert Pujols (@pujolsfive) who reached the 700 homerun milestone this season. Pujols will continue to play in the postseason with the St. Louis Cardinals. It is assumed that Pujols – a certain Hall of Famer – will retire at the end of the season.
You may be asking, what were the most retweeted MLB tweets this year? Three of the top four were from the Dodgers, with ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan claiming fourth>
#1 – Kpop sensation ENHYPEN at Dodger Stadium
#2 – Dodgers announce the passing of legendary broadcaster Vin Scully
#3 – ENHYPEN at Dodger Stadium
#4 – Passan announces that MLB and the MLBPA reach a labor deal ending the 99-day lockout.
Latinos Continue To Be Underrepresented In The Media Business – Forbes
A recent report from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) found Latinos continue to be underrepresented in the media business. Although Latinos now account for nearly 19% of the U.S. population, up from 15% in 2010, the GAO study found Latinos represent only 12% of the media workforce compared to 18% of the total workplace. Furthermore, Latinos account for an even lower 4% of media management positions. (Media workers include employment in television, film, news, etc. and includes such positions as actors, camera operators and journalists, etc.)
While the Latino population continues to increase at a higher rate than the overall U.S. population, GAO noted little progress of Latinos employed in the media industry. Hispanic employment growth in the media workplace has been negligible, increasing from 11% in 2010 to 12% in 2019. (Latinos in the total workforce grew from 15% to 18%.) The GAO findings were announced by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) at the National Press Club. In his remarks Castro noted of his childhood in Texas, “The faces and the places that I saw on screen back then, and really since then, hardly ever matched the reality around me on the West Side of San Antonio.”
Rep. Castro added, “Latino representation in American media isn’t much better than it was back then.” Castro along with several other lawmakers had been pushing Congress to look at the diversity in the media industry.
In commenting about the study, Sonia Pérez, the CEO of UnidosUS, a not-for-profit organization said, “It’s distressing that we are still talking about this issue of Hispanic media underrepresentation.” For example, the Latino Donor Collaborative found in modern mainstream entertainment Latinos accounted for only 3.1% of all lead actors in modern mainstream entertainment – with even lower numbers for co-leads/ensemble actors (2.1%), showrunners (1.5%), and directors (1.3%).
Despite the lack of diversity, the MPA reports Latinos have historically gone to the movie theaters more often than any other ethnic segment. Nielsen reports as a viewing source Latinos spend more time with streaming video than any other ethnic group. In addition, Spotify notes that 11 of 20 most streamed songs this summer came from Latino artists.
The GAO report said Latino females were even more underrepresented than males. Below is a breakout of media subsections.
- All media occupations: 10% (7% men, 3% women)
- Television, video, and film camera operators and editors: 14% (11% men, 3% women)
- Other media and communication equipment workers: 13% (12% men, 1% women)
- Designers: 13% (11% men, 2% women)
- Photographers: 12% (10% men, 2% women)
- Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys: 12% (8% men, 4% women)
- Artists and related workers: 11% (7% men, 4% women)
- Producers and directors: 11% (7% men, 4% women)
- Actors: 11% (7% men, 4% women)
- News analysts, reports, and journalists: 11% (5% men, 6% women)
- Graphic designers: 10% (8% men, 2% women)
- Editors: 7% (4% men, 3% women)
- Writers and authors: 7% (3% men, 4% women)
The report noted the challenges Latinos face in entering the media workplace including unions, lack of diversity with talent agents, a lack of diversity in decision makers (e.g., executives), financial obstacles, difficulty to network, difficulty to join a union and education.
The GAO issued some recommendations to improve ethnic diversity in the media industry including:
- The Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) work with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to develop a new memorandum of understanding that includes a plan for EEOC to routinely share data with FCC regarding discrimination charges filed against broadcasters and cable and satellite television operators.
- The Chair of EEOC should improve EEOC’s approach to routinely identify local unions required to file an EEO-3 report to help ensure that they file such reports on the demographics of union members.
Despite a growing and youthful population, an annual buying power approaching $2 trillion, a GDP that would be the fifth largest economy in the world, they are largely ignored. Rep. Castro noted, “Our stories remain almost entirely missing from the American narrative.”
Bank of Canada Media Interview – CBC Radio – Bank of Canada
Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada, was interviewed on CBC’s radio show Cost of Living. The program airs Sunday at 12:05 (Eastern Time) and will also be available as a podcast. Please check local listings for channel information, or go to www.cbc.ca/radio/costofliving.
UM Today the Magazine | Outsmarting a Brain Tumour – UM Today
Twitter Is Exclusive Social Media Partner For Live Look-Ins At All 2022 MLB Postseason Games – Forbes
Canadian Real Estate Has Never Been Less Affordable, Price Correction To Fix It: RBC – Better Dwelling
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Global Media Markets, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F – TV and Radio Broadcasting, Film and Music, Information Services, Web Content, Search Portals And Social Media, Print Media, & Cable – GlobeNewswire
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