More than 75 per cent of Australian TV news and current affairs presenters, commentators and reporters have an Anglo-Celtic background, while only six per cent have an Indigenous or non-European background, a new study has found.
One hundred per cent of free-to-air television national news directors have an Anglo-Celtic background – and they are all male.
These are key findings of a new, multi-university report, Who Gets to Tell Australian Stories? released today, it paints a sobering picture of how efforts towards diversity have largely failed in this regard.
Dr Dimitria Groutsis, Associate Professor of Work and Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney Business School co-authored the report commented: “The impact of a damaging discourse and a voluntary buy-in from business to address diversity and inclusion has been laid bare in our pioneering report on cultural diversity in the media. It is the first forensic examination of how our media treats cultural diversity at the workplace level.
“Survey results showed that more than 70 per cent of participants rated the representation of culturally diverse men and women in the media industry either poorly or very poorly.
“Australian news and current affairs fail to mirror the population in the stories they tell. Culturally diverse voices remain silent, faces remain hidden, names are from a limited roll call, accents are neglected. We need new markers of inclusion in media to represent the multicultural landscape of Australia’s population and Australia’s stories,” Doctor Groutsis said.
Tim Soutphommasane, Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory) and Director, Culture Strategy at the University of Sydney co-authored the report and added: “It has been nearly five decades since an official multiculturalism was adopted in Australia. Yet that has had limited visible impact on our media.
“If there’s a glass ceiling that many women in work hit, then those from minority backgrounds hit a cultural one. According to a survey we conducted as part of our research, more than 85 percent of non-European background journalists believe having a culturally diverse background represents a barrier to career progression.
“Representation, though, matters. It particularly matters for our television media: the medium shows us who we are as a people and as a culture.”
The report was initiated by Media Diversity Australia. Research was led by Macquarie University, with support from the University of Sydney, Deakin University and Western Sydney University.