What is Inclusive Journalism Cymru?
Inclusive Journalism Cymru is a network with three key aims:
- To enable all of us who’ve been marginalised or excluded by journalism to connect, support, organise and campaign
- To change the way that newsrooms support, include and reflect marginalised communities in the workplace and in society
- To mitigate existing and ongoing harms that affect members, whilst also creating the conditions for more inclusive newsrooms and journalism
Why do we need it?
What journalism is, what it does, and who it’s made by has a profound effect on the society we aim to reflect and inform. Our discourse around inequality, crime, immigration, devolution,- frankly everything – would be entirely different if our newsrooms weren’t shaped by the largely white, male, straight, middle-class, and metropolitan “gaze”.
It’s clear that this is a particular problem in Wales. We are an increasingly diverse nation, but this is not reflected in our media. The journalism industry is facing a number of existential crises, but key amongst those is the issue of “Trust”. If people and communities in Wales continue to be under-represented or MIS-represented, then trust will inevitably collapse even further.
If the journalism industry here isn’t reflective and representative of ALL our people and communities, then we run the risk that our conversations, culture and politics will diverge and fragment, with potentially devastating consequences for the future of Welsh society.
We know, for example, there aren’t enough black journalists in Wales, there aren’t enough disabled journalists, there aren’t even enough Welsh-speaking journalists. Many of our identities and communities aren’t fully represented in public discourse. These are just some of the systemic problems we’re trying to fix.
There are simply not enough of us in Welsh journalism to have power individually. It seems unlikely that we could ever reach critical mass in any newsroom in order to be able to enact the kind of change we need, but collectively we have enormous power. Together, we can use it.
Who can join?
The network is open to anyone in Wales who feels they or their community has been systemically under-represented in the industry. We’re inclusive, so there’s no test. If you’d like to be a member and feel like you could benefit or have something to offer, then you’re very welcome to sign up.
We’re very keen to support future journalists as well as current ones. We want those of you thinking of a career in journalism to know that someone’s got your back and will be there to support you if things get difficult.
We also want you to have hope, and know that there are people trying to make the industry better for you. You’re very welcome to join if you’re an aspiring or student journalist.
We also know that journalists increasingly work across a range of industries, so if you’re in PR, communications or another journalism-adjacent job, then the network is for you too.
How much does it cost?
It’s completely free to join Inclusive Journalism Cymru and always will be.
Why should I join?
We’re offering a range of opportunities and support, with lots more in the pipeline. These include:
- Opportunities for in-person and virtual connections, to meet and share experiences with other journalists from marginalised identities or communities and build power together
- A range of training and mentoring offerings, to help build skills and experience and broaden professional networks
- Paid professional opportunities, including the chance to contribute to a book of essays by Inclusive Journalism Cymru members, or take part in a “Startup Preschool” to help you develop economically sustainable journalism products for yourself or your newsroom.
- Mental health and wellbeing support, recognising the additional emotional burdens put on people from underrepresented backgrounds
- We’ll also be offering training and consultancy services to the Welsh media sector, to help create long-term systemic change across the industry.
We’re also collective, collaborative and participatory – so we really want to hear what you want and need from the network, and what you’d like to offer. As part of that, we’re committed to giving members the time, space and money to develop their own projects which help meet the aims of Inclusive Journalism Cymru.
The more of us there are, the more power we have.
How do I sign up?
You can join us by simply filling in this very quick membership form. It shouldn’t take more than a minute and you’ll then be the first to hear about opportunities we’re offering and all the ways that you can get involved.