We believe disabled people are currently under-represented in the news. Media Trust wants to change that.
Disabled people make up more than 20% of the population. There are disabled politicians, lawyers, academics, sportspeople, doctors, and disabled people working in every part of public life.
But when we watch the news, it’s rare to see disabled people and when we do, they’re almost always speaking about disability. This lack of representation means stories are going un-reported, talent is going unrecognised and negative attitudes towards disability are going unchallenged.
Our Reframing Disability in News programme – in partnership with the BBC’s 50:50 Project – will support disabled people to be expert contributors to broadcast news. The initiative will also support journalists and newsrooms to increase the representation of disability across TV, radio and online.
About the programme:
We will support and train journalists to understand how to approach and support disabled people to appear as spokespeople in broadcast news.
We will compile a database of disabled people who are experts on a wide range of subjects to be available as spokespeople and interviewees on news and current affairs programmes. Where individuals don’t feel ready to appear in the media, we will provide free resources to support them.
We will listen to and work with disabled people’s organisations, disability charities, and media organisations to ensure that our work is in line with the needs both of people with lived experience of disability and of journalists.
“Reframing Disability is all about starting a real and honest conversation between people with lived experience of disability and the charities and other organisations that support them on the one hand, and the media and creative industry on the other. We want to bring these two groups together with the aim of creating better representation and increased access for disabled people.”
Su-Mei Thompson, CEO of Media Trust
How you can get involved
If you are a disabled subject matter expert, please consider signing up to our database.
We’re looking for disabled people with expertise across a wide range of subjects from politics, economy, business, health, science to arts and sport.
So if you – or someone you know – is an expert on anything and everything from Brexit to turtle conservation in the Galapagos, from climate change to HS2, and from the coronavirus to coin collecting, and also disabled please sign up to join our mailing list.
Sign up below and we’ll be in touch with training opportunities and opportunities to be interviewees for broadcast news.
Get in touch
If you have any questions about the programme, please contact our Programme Manager, Chris Pike, on email@example.com.
More about the programme
This pilot programme is part of the Future News Pilot Fund, funded by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, and run by Nesta. We are very fortunate to have as our key programme partner the BBC’s 50:50 Project which has been successful in increasing women’s voices in the news. The pilot will run until June 2020.