Australian youth media VICE, Broadsheet, PEDESTRIAN.TV, Junkee & FBi Radio will combine in a massive registration drive around the government’s postal plebiscite and marriage equality.
During the three hour window, VICE and FBi Radio will blackout their sites, blocking access to their content and running a simple message urging readers to spend their time registering and/or checking their voting details instead of with their content. PEDESTRIAN.TV and Junkee readers who click through to the sites will be met with blacked out ad units and full-screen, over-the-top placements, again directing them to the AEC. All content uploaded during the three hour period will relate to LGBTQIA issues. Broadsheet will run a takeover across its five city websites directing readers to the AEC before all pages. The VICE blackout will not include its overseas channels, blocking its Australian page (and content) only.
The five media outlets will also dedicate their influential social platforms (with a combined Facebook follower count of over a million) to the support of the message, flooding timeline feeds and creating an unmissable moment for young Australians. Profile avatars across the channels will be uniformly updated, with the publishers driving conversation around the issue with shared, bespoke content.
Maddison Connaughton, features editor, VICE Australia said: “This is the first time Australia’s youth publishers have all banded together for the one issue. We think this marriage equality vote is that important. We know the vote has been purposefully designed to disenfranchise young people. There are hundreds of thousands of people under 30 who aren’t enrolled to vote, and many more who don’t have a permanent address, or are travelling, or are overseas. But we don’t accept that as the end of the story. These young people can make or break this marriage equality postal survey. So our goal with this blackout is to get every young person in Australia signed up to vote.”
Nick Shelton, publisher, Broadsheet added: “We feel privileged to be in a position to support something we passionately believe in. Marriage is something all Australians should be able to share equally, and this week is an opportunity to support and celebrate that.”
Vanessa Lawrence, head of editorial, PEDESTRIAN.TV, said: “PEDESTRIAN.TV is proud to be involved in this joint initiative, as we continue to utilise our significant influence to help educate and inform our readers on the best ways to rally behind the fight for marriage equality in Australia. It’s more important than ever for organisations with a public profile to come together and spread the message that we won’t back down until everyone in this country has the right to marry the person they love.”
Tim Duggan, publisher, Junkee Media, said: “This is the first time that Australia’s youth media have all come together for one very important reason, and it’s fitting that it’s equal love for all Australians that has united us in this important statement. Junkee Media is a proud supporter of marriage equality. As a publisher for young Australians, we reflect the majority view of our audience that all Australians deserve the right to marry whoever they love. Junkee believes the voluntary postal survey is an unnecessary, expensive and potentially damaging debate for many LGBTI people, and we will be advocating loudly and proudly for our audience to vote yes and ensure they are enrolled and ready to vote when the day comes.”
Caroline Gates, FBi Radio said: “FBi Radio firmly believes that all love is equal. Over a third of FBi volunteers are LGBT+ so this important to the station, but it’s also about showing support for the incredible queer artists, musicians and listeners who are part of FBi’s diverse community. There are thousands of young people missing from the electoral roll. We need our audience of 18-24 year olds to be heard in this debate and we want ‘yes’ to win. Together we’ll bring forward the day when all Australians can marry the person they love.”
The campaign will be supported by youth mental health organisation headspace, Perth’s RTRFM, The Ethics Centre, andAmnesty International Australia.