We need to tell our own stories.
The Race Beat is a new, nationwide media network for, and led by, people of colour.
We will provide physical spaces where people of colour working, or interested in, traditional and digital media – writers and broadcasters, editors and producers – can come together to discuss our experiences, learn new skills and share practical advice on navigating the industry. The Race Beat is open to all people of colour – from experienced news reporters, to citizen journalists and students. We are committed to promoting richer and more accurate stories of modern Britain.
What will the Race Beat do?
There are few spaces where people of colour can freely discuss issues of race and the media, without fear of losing out on opportunities.
By the end of 2019 we want to be a strong UK-wide network for people of colour working, or interested in, the media – this includes queer and trans people of colour and all other identities.
We will create physical spaces for people of colour to come together to:
- build relationships across the country for skills-sharing and regular discussion – on breaking into the industry; on journalistic craft; on race, class and the media;
- develop informal mentorship and similar supportive relationships;
- forge partnerships to fight for better industry representation, deliver training, and host workshops.
- strategise on how to better support and fund quality journalism (from commentary and criticism to in-depth investigations) by people of colour.
Why is the Race Beat necessary?
Good journalism holds power to account, exposes the corrupt, seeks justice for the powerless. Journalistic storytelling entertains, educates and surprises. But when journalism fails it is catastrophic, hurting communities with least power in our society. Decades of substandard reporting on immigration and asylum is one example with multiple consequences - contributing to a climate of fear and hate, and affecting policy-making and public opinion. The “Go Home” vans didn’t happen in a vacuum, neither did the injustices inflicted on the Windrush generation and the other communities.
When the media fails to properly reflect society, it distorts which stories are told, how they are told, who gets to tell them.
Diversity schemes simply tinker around the edges and elevate only a handful of BAME journalists - they fail to tackle underlying structural problems. There are too many stories misreported or ignored. It’s time for change.
Our experiences as writers, editors and broadcasters of colour have led us to create a network independent of any individual media organisation. We met through the Black Journalism Fund – a project which is now over. As journalists, our work has featured on established platforms including the BBC, the Guardian, CNN, New Statesman, New Internationalist, and openDemocracy.
The Race Beat met informally throughout 2018 but launched officially on 20th November at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green. The event saw a roomful of media professionals, led by Gary Younge and Maya Goodfellow, discuss 'Race, Representation & the British Media'.
How we will spend the money
If we hit our target, we will organise open and informal events in wheelchair accessible venues across the country throughout 2019, including:
- journalism workshops and skill-shares free for our members;
- regular get-togethers in accessible venues in London;
- regional events in Glasgow, Bristol, Sheffield and Birmingham.
We will invite experienced journalists of colour to speak at our events to share their experiences and advice, and create podcasts discussing race and the media that will be sent around our network.
Our rewards for early donors include free books (kindly donated by the Orwell Foundation and the publishers Verso and Pluto). The first five people to donate £50 can opt for a free place on a media spokesperson workshop run by the New Economy Organisers Network and Stir to Action.
We very much hope you will support our work and please share widely.
Stay in touch
If you have any questions, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find us on Twitter @theracebeat and Facebook.