A new placement scheme in the UK audio journalism will help address the declining diversity statistics.
The Multitrack Audio Fellowship in its pilot project offers paid placement opportunities to talented black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) reporters as well as economically disadvantaged communities. Journalists from Disabeld are also welcome to apply.
There are six radio and podcast companies involved, providing a month-long position at two of the companies to three successful applicants. The application deadline is July 8, 2019.
Not only will they gain experience and contacts with industry, they will earn a £ 10.55 an hour London Living Wage. This year, the scheme is available only in London, but proposals are being made to expand out of the capital.
This can be a deciding opportunity for students or interns from outside the city who need to move in or find nearby accommodation because they couldn’t afford to work in London otherwise.
Audio UK, an independent consortium of audio creators, sponsored the initial launch event in May 2019, but applicants ‘ salaries are paid by each of the six companies (which are all affiliates of Audio UK): 7 online, Loftus, Muddy Knees Press, Reduced Listening, Somethin’ Else and Whistledown.
“There have been past developments in the audio industry, where placements and internships have become an unspoken first move in – and sometimes you’re really doing a full-time job,” said Leanne Alie, podcast project manager and diversity advisor, who’s also on the scheme’s steering committee. “It can shake your confidence when you’re working for a big company and you’re paying a job.
The aim of the fellowship is to increase audio diversity. Latest statistics from Ofcom’s 2018 radio diversity show that representation of BAME communities in the UK radio industry stands at 6 percent against a national representation of 14 percent.