The media diversity and inclusion paradox: Experiences of black and brown journalists in mainstream British news institutions

Douglas, Omega. 2022. The media diversity and inclusion paradox: Experiences of black and brown journalists in mainstream British news institutions. Journalism, 23(10), pp. 2096-2113. ISSN 1464-8849 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Over 100 British journalists of colour are signatories to an open letter demanding the US Ambassador to the UK condemns the arrest of African-American journalist, Omar Jimenez, on May 29th 2020, whilst he was reporting for CNN on the Minneapolis protests following the police killing of George Floyd. The letter is a vital act of black transatlantic solidarity during a moment when journalism is under threat, economically and politically, and there’s a pandemic of racism in the west. These factors make journalism challenging for reporters from racial minorities, who are already underrepresented in western newsrooms and, as this paper shows, encounter discrimination in the field, as well as within the institutions they work for. The letter speaks to how black British journalists are all too aware that the British journalistic field, like the American one, has a race problem, and institutional commitments to diversity often don’t correspond with the experiences of those included, impacting negatively on the retention of black journalists. Drawing on original interviews with 26 journalists of colour who work for Britain’s largest news organisations, this paper theoretically grounds empirical findings to illustrate why and how discriminatory patterns, as well as contradictions, occur and recur in British news production.

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Additional Information:

Initial research for this work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.


Black and brown journalists, British news media, diversity, journalism, race/ethnicity, racism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


29 January 2021Accepted
11 March 2021Published Online
October 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

28 Jul 2021 10:41

Last Modified:

30 Sep 2022 11:19

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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