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Society of Editors scandal: Statement from openDemocracy’s feminist investigations team

We will continue to disrupt spaces of exclusion in the media until our industry genuinely reflects and respects the diverse societies it covers

11 March 2021, 3.21pm
openDemocracy’s feminist investigative team actively works to disrupt spaces of exclusion in the media, and the Society of Editors is no exception.
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Collage: Inge Snip

Our feminist investigative journalism team and its work have been shortlisted for two Society of Editors awards this year – including for Investigation of the Year and for Driving Diversity in the media industry. 

We have read the Society of Editors’ statement denying racism in the UK media with great concern but with no great surprise. Working within this industry, we are well aware of its deep-rooted problems of racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry – not just in terms of what is published but also in how media workplaces are structured. This is why we set up our project: we report on the backlash against women’s and LGBTIQ rights around the world while challenging exclusion in the media at the same time. 

Our team is led by women and LGBTIQ people who investigate and expose underreported threats to our rights while supporting others to develop their skills, confidence and employability as investigative journalists. Diversity is not an afterthought for us but a core concern. We want to drive change. For us, this is an active role: we will enter, be present in and disrupt spaces of exclusion in the media, and the Society of Editors is no exception. And we will continue to do this until the media ecosystem is genuinely a reflection of the diverse societies it reports on and speaks to. 

This is why we have decided not to withdraw our nominations from the Society of Editors awards – though we respect the decisions of other outlets which have done so. With the resignation of Ian Murray as director of the organisation it has a new opportunity to correct its track record and call out rather than defend racism in the industry. We hope it takes this opportunity. 

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