Media Must Cater To Multicultural Australia, Says Punkee’s Tahlia Pritchard

Media Must Cater To Multicultural Australia, Says Punkee’s Tahlia Pritchard
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With all its unpredictability, this year has shed light on how much needs to change in the media to be on the right side of history, according to Punkee editor Tahlia Pritchard.

During this year’s B&T Women in Media Awards, presented by Bauer Media, we’ll be recognising exceptional people who have achieved success in their professional arenas, celebrating their invaluable contribution to their industry through leadership, innovation and courage.

The winner of the ‘Journalist/Producer’ category at B&T’s ’30 Under 30 Awards’, Tahlia Pritchard is the editor of Junkee Media’s Gen Z-focused website, Punkee.

Speaking to B&T, Pritchard says 2020 has presented the media with an opportunity to get on the right side of history by representing the “Australia we’ve grown up in” and not what she describes as the “whitewashed version”.

Here’s what she had to say, in full.

Tahlia, what does ‘fearlessness’ mean to you?

Fearlessness to me means taking risks and chances when not everyone is going to be happy with the outcome, but because it’s the right thing to do.

Fearlessness is standing by your choices, making the tough decisions, and actively breaking away from the traditional white media landscape we all grew up in, rather than adhering to it.

What does fearlessness in advertising, marketing, or the media look like?

I think the media industry is in a really interesting but extremely challenging time. Fearlessness now is about uniting together instead of dividing.

This year we’ve already seen a pandemic, multiple (and extremely important) protests, and conversations finally being opened about how to become a more diverse market and actually cater to all individuals, not just what is seen as the societal “norm”.

As such, 2020 has highlighted how unpredictable the world in general can be, but it’s also shed light on how much needs to change in our own industry to be progressive and on the right side of history.

It could be easy to look at fearlessness now as about implementing those changes and not just talking about it, but I think even that is too generous of a term for rectifying previous mistakes.

What is an issue in the industry that keeps you up at night?

I think the media industry has always been extremely difficult to navigate and find stability in, moreso now since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

We’ve seen numerous sites like BuzzFeed News Australia, 10Daily, and Whimn shut down. I’d predict most people in this industry have been rattled about the long-term stability of jobs in 2020 and that’s definitely something that plays on mind as I think about my own future in media.

Do you believe the advertising, marketing and media industries have been ‘fearless’ in the past seven months?

I think there’s room to improve, but I think the right steps are being taken. A younger, passionate, more progressive generation is growing up and I think as they enter the workforce the next few years could be really pivotal to seeing a good change in our industry.

How can professionals in advertising, marketing—and the media more broadly—be fearless in times of change?

Take the risks. Look at how amazing our multicultural country is and cater to that. Represent the Australia we’ve grown up in and see on a daily basis, not the whitewashed version we often get in advertising and on our TV shows.

Have those awkward discussions— I think we can all be making a bigger effort to constantly educate ourselves on our own privilege and listen to minorities in order to achieve proper change.

I don’t even think this is necessarily fearless behaviour but I also recognise taking risks and taking stands can feel scary so it’s a good place to start.

Don’t be shy, be proud of your achievements and enter B&T’s Women In Media! Submit your entry here.

You can also buy tickets to the event here, which will be held on Wednesday 28 October 2020, at Doltone House (Jones Bay Wharf).

And, if you’d like more information, head to this website.

Other key information 

On-time deadline: Friday 21 August 2020 (5pm AEST)

Late entries deadline: Friday 28 August 2020 (5pm AEST)

Shortlist announced: Wednesday 23 September 2020.

Thank you to all of our incredible sponsors for making the event possible! 

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Tahlia Pritchard women in media awards

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