We believe disabled people are currently under-represented in the news. We want 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 through media training and other resources. The initiative will also support newsrooms and journalists to address biases and barriers to approaching and interviewing disabled experts.
'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
The pilot programme has now finished, but we are delighted to be rolling out our Disability in the Media training across the whole industry following its success in the pilot. The training is for producers and content makers in broadcast, journalism, print, advertising, PR, and digital media, to give them the skills, confidence, and motivation to bring more disabled experts, spokespeople, and talent into their content. The training follows broad principles but will be created and adapted bespoke for your team’s needs and context. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options and pricing.
Disabled experts who wish to be considered by BBC journalists for media interviews may wish to consider signing up to the BBC New Voices database.
More about the programme
This pilot programme was 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 ran until June 2020.