Making Connections and Gathering Skills: Reflecting on the Inclusive Media Development Lab

09 October 2023 | Inclusive Journalism Cymru

I came across the advertisement for the Inclusive Media Development Lab randomly in late June. It was also the first time I’d heard about Inclusive Journalism Cymru, the organisers behind the Lab. As a member of the ethnic minorities who has been trained to be a journalist yet struggling to participate in the industry, when I saw the title of the Lab I thought “Yeah, that’s for me.” So I started reading more. It turned out to be something about “business” and “design skills”, and at first I was like, “Wait a minute… What do they have to do with journalism?” However, the entrepreneurship aspect did not bar my willingness to apply, instead, it made me even more curious to go and see what would happen over the Lab weekend.


Luckily, I was selected to attend the Lab. During the three days, we received an abundance of knowledge about entrepreneur’s thinking, design thinking and business models. These pieces of information might have been new to someone like me, or seem familiar to participants who had experiences of running their own organisations or businesses. But what was a benefit for all of the participants, I think, was the chance to rethink the question, “Who am I?”

 At the beginning of the Lab, we were asked to think about this question, with the understanding that it would be relevant to the weekend as a whole and possibly to the things that we had already been doing or would do in the future. By figuring out who we were and why we were here, we challenged ourselves to think about what changes we would like to bring about to the journalism and media industry. And that is the first step of being an entrepreneur: to figure out what the problem is.

The speakers also went into detail about how to generate the solution to the problem, and how to make the business sustainable in order to keep providing the services or products. It could have veered into just talking about theories if there were no tangible examples. But through the talks from experts in the media and journalism industry, we all got some insights about how to put the theory into practice. Nafisa Bakkar from Amaliah, Manjiri Carey from BBC News Labs, Gary Rogers from Fathm, Tchiyiwe Chihana, Sara Hill and James Lock from Opus and Gill Wildman from Upstarter Incubator all delivered fruitful talks that let us know the challenges and opportunities in the industry. Although we participants were all in different stages and sectors of the journalism and media industry, those experiences and knowledge were helpful for us to think clearly and creatively to bring about these changes.

"By figuring out who we were and why we were here, we challenged ourselves to think about what changes we would like to bring about to the journalism and media industry."

Ka Long Tung



Among the participants were journalists in well-known media outlets, freelance journalists, writers, curators, campaigners, podcasters, and more. We had people from different cultural backgrounds, ages, and expertise. The demographic of the participants lived up to the title of the Lab, and its belief that the industry should be open to everyone. What was shared among us was that we all wanted to create something positive in our fields. By talking to each other, I learnt about what others were doing and how broad the term “media” was, as it covered many different sectors that were seemingly different.

We had a chance to get to know each other during discussions, breaks and also Inclusive Journalism Cymru’s AGM and the launch of their book “Cymru & I” in Chapter on Saturday night. Although we all worked in different fields under the “media” umbrella, we all had things to learn from each other in terms of storytelling and communication. And because the industry is so broad, there would always be chances for cross-border collaboration as we were all passionate about telling stories and our skills were transferable. In order to make these conversations happen, the organisers did a great job to make the Lab an inclusive space and everyone was encouraged to express what they wanted to.

Besides networking with others whom I might work with in the future, the Lab also introduced us to some gigs in Wales where we could bring our ideas into reality. It is also quite reassuring, especially for people like me who are beginners in the industry, that our relationship with Inclusive Journalism Cymru would not just stop on Sunday when the Lab finished, but that we could continue to seek advice on our challenges, development and ideas.

You can follow Ka Long on Twitter / X or visit his website