Australian media heavyweights agree on pathway to diversity, equity and inclusion

A raft of CEOs, managing directors, and other key players from Australia’s major media outlets have committed to a path to industry-wide improvement around diversity, equity and inclusion.

Media Diversity Australia’s inaugural industry roundtable was held last Friday in the SBS headquarters in Sydney, with heavyweights from MDA member organisations AAP, the ABC, Private Media Group, News Corp Australia, Nine, SBS, Seven, Ten, The Daily Aus, The Conversation Group, and The Guardian, in attendance, alongside the Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland.

“MDA was proud to be facilitating a conversation with industry heads about what we can be doing as a collective to improve representation in mainstream media that truly reflects Australia, one that supports and empowers journalists from all walks of life so that they can report on vital issues in the public interest,” said Isabel Lo, Chair & Founder of Media Diversity Australia.

According to the communique, endorsed by all attendees, there was broad agreement that “sustained effort was needed to boost the diverse talent pool across the media and there was an appetite to collaborate with MDA to achieve this.”

Attendees were “united in collective commitment to ensure a diverse media industry and welcomed support and guidance to accelerate these efforts.”

The group will meet twice yearly to ensure ongoing discussions take place and that communication channels remain open across the sector, with Nine to host the next roundtable in early 2024.

A working group will be established to continue discussions and to prepare an agenda for upcoming roundtable meetings.

“For the first time, we have brought together our members for an authentic and frank conversation about what needs to be done to make real inroads in diversity, inclusion and equity,” said Mariam Veiszadeh, CEO of Media Diversity Australia.

“As individual media organisations, each member has the power to have a meaningful impact, but as a collective, this group’s ability to move the dial cannot be underestimated.

“The pace of industry-wide change is slow and inconsistent. This roundtable was a call to action to the industry – together we have started the journey towards agreeing to collective commitments.”


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