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Call for greater focus on media diversity

6 July 2021

Dr David Dunkley Gyimah
Dr David Dunkley Gyimah

Leading figures from British film, television, and the media including Sir Lenny Henry, Amma Asante, Adrian Lester, Afua Hirsch and Gary Younge are among contributors to the latest edition of a journal dedicated to championing media diversity.

They join academics for the second edition of ‘Representology - the Journal for Media and Diversity', which examines representation in the UK media and wider culture.

The publication, supported by Cardiff University and Birmingham City University, has been made available today (Tuesday 6 July), featuring a line-up of articles from famous faces and in-depth academic research shining a light on the industry.

Authors have penned 13 articles covering a range of topics. They include:

  • Sir Lenny Henry interviewing filmmaker Amma Asante on how to diversify period dramas and share power on the silver screen;
  • Journalist Afua Hirsch on her time working at The Voice, the UK’s leading Black newspaper;
  • Former Guardian columnist Gary Younge on being Black and working for the newspaper;
  • Actor Adrian Lester on balancing parenting with a career in the creative arts;
  • Exclusive research highlighting the absence of British East and South East Asians talent in British cinema by Chi Thai and Delphine Lievens
  • Pieces on black cultural memory, fighting discrimination in radio and television plus cultural recommendations from author and youth worker Ciaran Thapar

Representology Editor and cultural critic K Biswas, whose work has been published in the New Statesman, the New York Times, and the Nation, said: “I am delighted to launch the second issue of Representology: The Journal of Media and Diversity, and bring together the leading lights of British press and broadcasting with impressive newcomers and cutting-edge academic researchers.

“Every contributor understands the urgency of capturing the diverse experiences of those who work in media, in order to dismantle existing barriers towards participation.”

Co-founder Dr David Dunkley Gyimah, a senior lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, said: “The quality and variety of articles in this second edition of the journal raise so many interesting questions and are deep dives into lived experiences around inclusion. This second issue clearly demonstrates Representology's positioning; such a publication is well overdue.”

Fellow co-founder Professor Diane Kemp of Birmingham City University said: “This journal is a natural extension of the work taking place at the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity and brings together expertise and contributions from across the industry and academia.

“With such renowned contributors giving their personal experiences, as well as much needed research highlighting important issues, we hope Representology has an important part to play in making sure our industry reflects the society we live in.”

Representology was founded following talks between Birmingham City University’s Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity and Cardiff University, with the shared ambition of conducting new research into media representation and featuring articles from leading figures in the fight for better representation.

It tackles subjects spanning all protected characteristics including race, gender, sexuality, class and disability, as well as the intersections between them.

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