Media Diversity Australia

An internship program is bridging the divide between Australia’s diverse population and how it is represented in the media.

Grant Type
Community
Focus
Economic Empowerment
Date
2022
Partner

Media Diversity Australia (MDA) is creating a future where the Australian media landscape looks, feels, and sounds like the diversity of its people.

Through research, creating pathways and partnering with media organisations seeking to change, MDA is the first, and only, organisation in Australia that is focused on improving cultural and racial diversity in the media industry.

The organisation’s flagship Media Pathways Program was developed in 2022 after MDA published its ‘Who Gets to Tell Australian Stories 2.0’ research report, in partnership with the University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney. The research offered a ‘report card’ on Indigenous and cultural diversity in television news and found that Anglo-Celtic reporters are vastly overrepresented on television.

“This program has been specifically designed to equip young people from underrepresented cultures with the essential skills, confidence, connections and experience to thrive in the competitive Australian media industry,” says Mariam Veiszadeh, CEO of MDA.

The Program comprises two streams. One stream provides seminars for more than 180 students to learn about careers in the media, and the other stream offers paid internships within a newsroom for four high-achieving students.

In 2022-2023, when the Bennelong Foundation supported the Program, internships were completed at news outlets including Mamamia, News Corp Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald and Are Media, and interns have gone on to secure jobs with Network 10, the ABC and Mamamia.

“The continued employment of these interns within the industry underscores the enduring impact and importance of this Program in shaping the future of culturally diverse media professionals in Australia,” Mariam says.

Beyond individual successes, the project has contributed to enhancing cultural and racial diversity within the media industry, fostering a more inclusive environment.

“This Program has a positive ripple effect – it is yielding tangible benefits for the individuals involved and broader society.”  

The Media Pathways Program is a collaborative project between Media Diversity Australia and Western Sydney University.

Impactful results

Making positive change

Media Diversity Australia has enabled people from underrepresented cultures to participate in education and employment opportunities.

Outcome

Better access to the training and skills young people from underrepresented communities need to find a job, earn an income and become self-supporting.

Outcome

More opportunities for young people from underrepresented communities to have a voice.

Specifically designed to empower participants, with a particular emphasis on those with refugee and asylum-seeker backgrounds, the program equips individuals with the essential skills, confidence, connections, and experience necessary to thrive in the competitive Australian media industry.

Simone Amelia Jordan

Director of Special Projects, Media Diversity Australia

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