Marcus Daniel has joined Media Diversified as Editor in Chief. Founder and chairperson of Media Diversified. He talked to Samantha Asumadu about Media Diversified’s impact and its future. This is a transcript of the conversation:
Marcus: Hello and welcome to Media Diversified. We’re in central London today and this is Sam, founder and chairperson of Media Diversified. Hello Sam!
Sam: Hello Marcus, and this is Marcus, the new Editor in Chief of Media Diversified.
Marcus: Hello everybody.
Sam: So I just wanted to say congratulations to Marcus, it’s brilliant to have him on board, and I think everyone on the team is excited that he has agreed to become the new Editor in Chief. It looks like our social media followers, you guys, are also excited via all the tweets we’ve had since we made the announcement earlier.
Marcus: Thank you for the love. Okay, I just wanted to ask you Sam as founder and chairperson of Media Diversified, can you tell us about the site, why you decided to found it, and what impact you think it’s had?
Sam: I started Media Diversified in 2013, it was initially because I had lived in Uganda previously to that, I moved back to London to try to find funding for my second feature documentary, and I found that very difficult.
I ended up doing crowd-funding, getting disappointed, not being able to make that money – getting down to the last ten people of various big funds, some in America, some here, and just never getting what I needed to make the film. And so to cut a long story short, after that I founded Media Diversified because I have nephews in their teens and twenties and I thought, who are their role models in the press? Because all you see of black people is when we are perpetrators of crime, and very rarely when we are victims of crime and certainly not much when we deserve celebrating.
And so I wanted to foreground the voices of black and other ethnic minorities in the UK and give them a platform rather than white people always talking for us.
Marcus: And why do you think we still have a role to play in big old 2018?
Sam: We have a massive role to play, so much since post Brexit, but even before Brexit, there’s been a rising racial hatred, there’s been a lot of discrimination for decades, for millennia even, against people of colour. Britain is the coloniser of the world so that’s no surprise both in our institutions and our press, however, I think it has become more urgent recently with a lot of the press giving platforms to people who would who nominally be called fascists or white supremacists so I think we need to cut into that kind of discourse – free speech is all very well but why is so often people of colours’ criticism of it suppressed? They want to talk about us but they don’t want to hear us.
So I think that is where we play a vital role. Recently, with the article I commissioned we published by Nafeez Ahmed, it was important that go out there, but also Melanie Phillips did a reply in the Times about it.
Marcus: So how do you think we can take this further?
Sam: Well, how do you think we can take this further?
Marcus: At Media Diversified what we will be doing is bringing you the articles and content you’ve been used to over the past few years as we have always done, however we will be looking at commissioning some interesting new voices and we’ll be looking to deliver those voices across different platforms so hopefully you will be seeing more video. So what I would say is follow the @WritersOfColour Instagram and Twitter account – if you’re not doing so already – and get involved in the conversation. We look forward to having that conversation with you.
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