</Challenging diversity and inclusivity through digital journalism>
By Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Head of Editorial at gal-dem magazine
My journey into journalism started from humble beginnings with badly written blog posts about my life as a teenager. I was the first in my immediate family to go to university and was vastly underprepared for what it entailed. Despite this, I managed to start writing for the student papers and magazines, gaining my journalism qualifications with the help of bursaries and eventually gaining internships and jobs at digital-first platforms including BBC Online, VICE and Dazed.
Having fought my way into journalism, I found there was another issue to face – the wider question of diversity in digital careers. I soon realised this lack of diversity needed fixing sooner rather than later. As part of my effort to improve this issue, I joined the mission to build a brand new type of online space: gal-dem. Liv Little launched gal-dem in 2015, and although it was initially centred around a Facebook group, it’s now become a digital magazine platform to show the perspectives of women and non-binary people of colour. As we steadily grew our readers and social media following, it felt like we were creating something special and challenging preconceptions in the space by battling lack of diversity through our words and our digital skills.
Being part of a new digital generation of journalists meant that I could help transform online experiences for people like myself. In order for future journalists to continue creating these changes for their audiences, it’s important we encourage young people to explore the value of digital skills – no matter their background or industry of interest.
In my mind, you become a journalist as soon as you write your first story. With the tools we now have available through the digital sphere, writing and publishing your first story and reaching a wider range of diverse people has arguably never been easier. The most exciting thing for me about the current state of journalism in the digital age is that we are cracking open the shell and removing the elitism and the mystique one step at a time.
My career in journalism has always been about taking risks and making hard choices. While I’ve made plenty of mistakes, I entered journalism for the right reason – I believe it can make the world a better place through the power of digital and the communities it reaches. Thanks to digital spaces like gal-dem, the number of stories you can now find at your fingertips is endless. That also means identifying corruption, calling truth to power and helping to shape a more positive media landscape is possible too.
For more information on how you can choose your own pathway and reboot the system, visit our course page here.