The media is a powerful partner in community development. Here are ten ways to expand & reflect diversity in the media that encourages intercultural/interfaith expression and connections critical to engaging the community towards eradicating hate, racism, and discrimination. Tips for media owners, practitioners, students and everyday folks alike-because media is US.
1. Encourage multilingual coverage in mainstream broadsheet, specifically with Punjabi as second language spoken in Abbotsford. Encourage ethnic media to expand coverage by creating partnerships with broader print & broadcast media so that mainstream population is reached.
2. Create awareness to stop stereotypes and racialization based on culture, religion, manner of clothing, language, and country of origin of ethnic/ visible minorities in reporting, advertising, and entertainment. Create watchdogs in schools that monitor how local media fares.
3. Ask publishers and media owners to invest in staff/journalists/writers that are diverse, innovative, and reflects the growing communities of Abbotsford. The newsmakers should reflect diversity and bear diverse points of views and opinions.
4. Ask local media outlest to feature positive stories, news, and articles about ethnic/visible minorities. Increase campaign against the spread of misconceptions about new immigrants and temporary workers and the negative valuation of people of color and aboriginal people.
5. Encourage immigrants/newcomers to write more opinions in the Editorials in their own languages (or translated text) to express their points of view. Support immigrants to be more politically engaged and vocal about issues that matter them.
6. Encourage representation of diverse spiritual/religious views in print and broadcast media. Abbotsford is home to religious diversity that shapes who we are as a community.
7. Support multicultural & anti-racism and discrimination campaigns and activities through more sponsorship and advertising opportunities at media outlets for general public.
8. Encourage journalists to form an alliance and work collectively to promote diversity & inclusion in the community and neigboring cities.
9. Encourage media professional and anti-racism activists to monitor social networking sites and boycott any sites that promote/encourage hate, racism and bullying in these platforms and recruit young people to extremists groups. Report to local police for cyber bullying and other forms of violence and discrimination.
10. Promote positive use of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking engines for social causes where young people are not seen as victims/subjects but as agents for change in their community.
There are more to this issue that meets the eye. For more information about media & racism, please visit http://www.stopracism.ca/content/racism-and-media