The session, titled "Diversity vs. division: how news organizations can promote inclusion" and hosted by DW journalist Waslat Hasrat-Nazimi, focused on topics such as introducing a diversity quota system within media organizations and the representation of minorities. Indian political and social activist Aruna Roy discussed with Jamie Angus, Director of the BBC World Service Group, and DW Director General Peter Limbourg.
Laschet: "Diversity must be present in the media companies themselves. There are currently no editors-in-chief in Germany who are black, there are none who come from a Muslim family, not even the largest groups of immigrants, namely from Turkey, Poland and Russia, represented at this level, although Germany is a country shaped by immigration and where nearly one quarter of our population has at least one parent who didn’t hold a German citizenship from birth. (…) Countless groups are not represented at all."
"The easy propagation of fake news, hate speech and conspiracy theories" are some of the biggest challenges today, said Laschet, who is one of five deputy chairs of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). He stated that the need for "independent journalists who carefully research, consider and classify information is becoming ever more important."
The politician added that journalism needs sustainable business since "news media have been facing tough challenges in their transition to digital journalism."
In India, "the economic debate is critical for all the minorities that feel they are being edged out of [the coverage] of the mainstream media," said Aruna Roy. "We work hard at offering diversity every day, but we can’t be complacent," said Jamie Angus. He shared that the BBC has introduced "a ring-fenced commissioning budget of 100 million pounds that will only be used to commission content that is diverse – either in the way that it’s been written or in the production staff and the way that it’s led."
Peter Limbourg concurred, saying that "we need teams that are diverse and closer to our public. That means bringing in more people from minorities into senior management positions."
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