Four book critics recently hired by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have quit or reduced their hours to protest a lack of diversity in the new hires.
A group of five critics were employed in May on a one year contract to write about the arts under grants issued by the Copyright Agency and the Judith Neilson Institute. All of the hires, however, were white writers.
Two of the hired writers, Bec Kavanagh and Jack Callil, took to Twitter on Monday to announce they’d quit their new roles in “opposition to the lack of diversity in the selection, which resulted in an all-white group of peer”.
Hi friends. I am resigning, with @Jack_Callil, as an emerging book critic for @theage/@smh, an initiative generously funded by @CopyrightAgency and @JN_Institute. The selection of all-white critics fails to reflect Australia's cultural diversity. Full statement below. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/XoPxAD7tKp
— bec kavanagh (@beckavanagh) June 22, 2020
Another newly hired critic, Tiarney Miekus, has not quit, but has said she will give up some of her salary to enable Nine to hire more black, indigneous and people of colour (BIPOC) writers.
I know I’ve been silent on @theage and @smh hiring five white critics for their arts coverage under their grant from the @CopyrightAgency and @JN_Institute – from the outset I have found this completely appalling and shameful. 1/6
— Tiarney Miekus (@tiarneym) June 26, 2020
Cassie Tongue said she is “in discussions” to share her job with a BIPOC writer.
Miekus wrote on Twitter: “I know I’ve been silent on The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald hiring five white critics for their arts coverage.
“From the outset I have found this completely appalling and shameful. It shows the media’s bias when it comes to supporting the voices and opinions of people of colour and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers in arts publishing.
“The selection was not ethical or representative of arts writing and art practices in this country today. Since the announcement, I’ve had many exchanges with multiple editors. Having essentially halved the number of pieces I’ll be publishing, I’ve been advocating the extra funding set aside for my role — visual arts in Melbourne — be used to publish arts pieces by BIPOC writers.”
Miekus said the Nine-owned had agreed a “large portion” of funding originally set aside for her role will be used to commission BIPOC writers to publish visual arts pieces.
She said The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald “have agreed a large portion of funding” originally set aside for her role will be used to commission people of colour and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers to publish visual arts pieces.
Tongue, another of the hired critics, said: “I’m having discussions with Fairfax (now called Nine) about how I can use my role to share space, facilitate relationships between Fairfax and emerging critics of colour.”
In a statement, Nine said: ‘We accept the reasons why Jack Callil and Bec Kavanagh have decided to resign. We are reopening applications for the two freelance book critic roles, considering the previous applicants as well as seeking to ensure the roles are posted more widely to encourage a greater diversity of applicants. The successful applicants will need to have expertise as literary critics and strong writing skills.”
Independent experience agency The Misfits has recently announced a strategic partnership with cultural change and leadership experts Nancy Hromin and Kate Chaffer. While the company has for a long time operated in the space of creative services, digital and content marketing, film production and events, The Misfits is now broadening this offering to include business […]
TripleLift has today announced an expansion in their Asia Pacific (APAC) operations, with Henry Shelley [featured image] appointed as Managing Director, based in Singapore. Fueling TripleLift‘s expansion in APAC is its success in Australia, where the company works with 70 per cent of the top 50 comScore publishers. “As the home to several of the worlds’ […]
Rob Highett-Smith joins Fiftyfive5 in the newly created role of head of performance measurement. Performance measurement represents one of the three core offer areas at Fiftyfive5 with tracking programs running across 40 countries; representing our fastest growing capability pillar. Rob joins to lead this capability, which encompasses brand and comms tracking, multi market monitoring, CX and customer satisfaction, as well as other longitudinal programmatic work.
Podium has continued its international expansion today announcing its launch in Australia. Podium serves more than 90,000 local businesses in the United States, Canada and Australia, and has seen its customer base in Australia almost quadruple to over 3,000 local businesses since the start of the pandemic. Through its SMS-based platform, Podium helps local businesses receive […]
Commercial DAB+ hip hop and RnB station, THE EDGE has appointed Emily Copeland, to the newly created role of General Manager. Copeland brings an awesome mix of skills and experience to THE EDGE, including cross-platform media content experience, partnerships and events (including music festivals – remember those?). Copeland also has a stack of achievements to […]
Brianne West is the founder and CEO of Ethique, a New Zealand-based sustainable, plastic free and cruelty free skin and hair care range. West sat down with B&T to explore what genuine environmental sustainability looks like, and how brands can better respond to eco-conscious consumers. B&T: Why are we seeing a rise in eco-conscious consumption? BW: […]
Blis has today revealed its new Consumer Confidence Pulse — the most comprehensive tracker of its kind — this interactive dashboard builds on its existing trend data around consumer mood to analyse behaviour during the COVID pandemic. The dashboard also now tracks consumer movement over a rolling 13-month period, across 18 retail and lifestyle sectors […]
Following the success of Series One: Grey Nomads, Australian Seniors has launched the second series of the Life’s Booming podcast – Dare to Date. Hosted by James Valentine (pictured with guests Liz and Barry), Life’s Booming explores the incredible stories and addresses topics important to Australians over 50. Series two titled Dare to Date is a six-part series that covers real-life love, […]
World-leading conversational agency VERSA has bolstered its team with two senior appointments in response to growing uptake in conversational AI technology across various sectors. Vanessa Tout has been appointed global head of client partnerships and growth, while Michael Oso-Hughes comes on board as design director. Tout joins VERSA CEO Kath Blackham and managing director Michael […]
Engagement marketing agency, Banter, has hired Patrick Rutkowski as Creative Technologist, to further bolster the digital and innovation side of the business. Rutkowski joins Banter after having spent the last five and a half years at independent creative agency, The Hallway where he was most recently creative technologist working with the likes of Rheem, Tourism […]
Kargo has today announced several major growth milestones across the APAC region for the first half of 2021, more than doubling H1 revenue year-over-year with 115 per cent growth. Kargo also ran 41 per cent more campaigns in the region than in H1 2020 and the average campaign size increased by 32 per cent over […]