A few years ago, I met a young aspiring black female journalist at an event. She was full of positivity and hope as she was attempting to embark on her career in the media. She asked for my advice and I said something along the lines of keeping your options open. Yes, think about mainstream media platforms, but remember there are a wealth of independent publications who could be just as great to work for. After my words left my lips, a deafening silence ascended upon the conversation. The young journalist in question made it clear she had no aspirations to work for a publication that wasn't considered mainstream. At first, I was perplexed at her reluctance to consider a career in an independent media outlet, but she made it clear she wanted to produce content about black women - but for a mainstream platform.
I think I said: “you're brave,” as trying to change an entire industry or company to make marginalised voices heard is far from the easiest thing to do. I don’t know what happened to that journalist or her plans to change an archaic company’s attitudes towards racial diversity, but I admired her commitment and belief that she could flip an entire industry on its head when it came to race.