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In 2020, global protests forced media to think harder about diversity and inclusion

What's New in Publishing 07 Jan 2021 07:55

Besides reporting on the protests that erupted globally after the death of George Floyd, the media has also had to consider its own role in fostering positive societal change. Peter Houston rounds up the year in diversity as part of our Media Moments 2020 report.

Covid-19 dominated the media agenda globally in 2020, both as the biggest story of the year and as a huge disruption across the business of media. But there has been another global phenomenon impacting media, again as a major story but also as a dramatic driver of change.

The Black Lives Matter movement shot to international prominence in 2020, receiving headline coverage worldwide after half a dozen years of uneven media attention. Social media footage of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer at the end of May sparked more than 450 demonstrations, first in the United States and then internationally.

The upswelling of anti-racist sentiment that followed the summer’s BLM protest led to widespread calls for action to improve diversity and inclusion across all layers of society, not least the media. With, at best, a patchy record on representation, many media organisations have responded positively to calls to do better when it comes to race and broader issues of diversity and inclusion. But, of course, there’s a lot of work still to be done.

This article is an extract from our Media Moments 2020 report. To see the case studies for this chapter and to read the full report, download it here.

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George FloydBLMConde NastPeter HoustonPhiladelphia Enquirer
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