Vice, Broadsheet, Pedestrian.TV, Junkee and FBi radio agree to enrolment blackout

Youth media publications, Vice, Broadsheet, Pedestrian.TV, Junkee, and FBi Radio, have teamed up to encourage young Australians to enrol, or check their enrolment details, ahead of the postal plebiscite for marriage equality.

Between 5 and 8pm this evening, VICE Australia and FBi Radio will blackout their websites, blocking access to content and running a message urging readers to spend time registering and/or checking voting details.

The campaign marks the first time the youth publishers have joined together for a cause

Pedestrian.TV and Junkee readers will black out all advertising units and host over-the-top placements which direct readers to the Australian Electoral Commission Website.

All content upload during the period of time will relate to LGBTQI+ issues.

Broadsheet will run a takeover across its five city websites, directing readers to AEC before all pages.

All media outlets will also dedicate their social platforms to support of the message.

Maddison Connaughton, features editor, Vice Australia said it was the first time Australia’s youth publishers had joined together for a cause.

“We know the vote has been purposefully designed to disenfranchise young people, said Connaughton.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people under 30 who aren’t enrolled to vote, and many more who don’t have a permanent address, or are travelling, or are overseas. But we don’t accept that as the end of the story. These young people can make or break this marriage equality postal survey. So our goal with this blackout is to get every young person in Australia signed up to vote.”

The pro-marriage equality campaign, which launched earlier this year

Nick Shelton, publisher at Broadsheet, said the company felt privileged to support something they “passionately believed in.”

Pedestrian.TV’s head of editorial, Vanessa Lawrence, said it was more important than ever for organisations to come together and spread the message.

“Pedestrian.TV is proud to be involved in this joint initiative, as we continue to utilise our significant influence to help educate and inform our readers on the best ways to rally behind the fight for marriage equality in Australia,” Lawrence said.

Tim Duggan, publisher at Junkee Media said the youth publishers will be advocating for same sex marriage, “loudly and proudly.”

“Junkee Media is a proud supporter of marriage equality. As a publisher for young Australians, we reflect the majority view of our audience that all Australians deserve the right to marry whoever they love,” Duggan said.

“Junkee believes the voluntary postal survey is an unnecessary, expensive and potentially damaging debate for many LGBTI people, and we will be advocating loudly and proudly for our audience to vote yes and ensure they are enrolled and ready to vote when the day comes.”

Caroline Gates, program director, FBi radio, said it was important to show support for FBi volunteers, artists, musicians, and listeners, who are part of the LGBTQI+ community.

“There are thousands of young people missing from the electoral roll. We need our audience of 18-24 year olds to be heard in this debate and we want ‘yes’ to win. Together we’ll bring forward the day when all Australians can marry the person they love.”

Youth mental health organisation headspace, Perth’s RTRFM, The Ethics Centre, and Amnesty International Australia, will support the campaign.

The news comes after members of the advertising industry joined together two weeks ago, pledging not to create the ‘No campaign.’

At the same time, most media companies said they would accept advertising for both campaigns, independent publishers said they would not be accepting advertising for the ‘No’ campaign.

Last week, The Australian Bureau of Statistics released its first ad explaining the postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage and detailing the cut-off date for enrolment. 


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