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London360 celebrates six years of diversifying the media

AT THE HELM: Jasmine Dotiwala shares the importance of London360's youth journalism programme

LAST WEEK, London360 celebrated six years of their youth journalism programme at the House of Commons.

Hosted by Jon Snow, of Channel 4 and Dawn Butler MP, the afternoon featured presentations from the programme’s alumni, masterclass leaders, supporters and funders - all of whom lauded the organisation’s work.

By helping young Londoners to launch careers within the media, London360 is helping to diversify the landscape. This is exceptionally important, given that much of this talent would’ve otherwise had limited opportunities to enter the industry.

So far, London360 has seen more than 450 young people (out of 600 trained in total) into full time employment within the UK and international media sectors. Over 80% of the remaining 150 are working in other industries

A sentiment shared by various speakers and attendees was that diversity has long been a buzz-word in the media sphere and that companies are 'cottoning on' to the importance of this, in a traditionally non-diverse industry; not just for the sake of ‘ticking boxes’ but in order to produce high-quality, relatable content.

BEHIND THE CAMERA: Some of the team behind London360

The programme’s executive producer Jasmine Dotiwala also took the floor, to give a talk about her personal experiences of manoeuvring through the media, as a woman of colour and the importance of London360. She mentioned:

“For so long, communities haven’t been represented fairly or equally; in turn, they haven’t trusted the media.”

Ms. Dotiwala went on to illuminate the ways in which London360 helps to give voice to communities, hidden and otherwise, across the capital; engaging audiences through a wide range of story-telling and amplifying stories of the city’s hidden communities through media partnerships - The Voice newspaper is one such collaborator.

The impact of the organisation is evidenced by the fact that brands such as the BBC, CNN, SKY News, Channel 4, ITV, MTV, Discovery, Vice, London Live, Radio One, Betty Productions, Hat Trick Productions, Nine Yards, Buzzfeed UK, and MOBO have London360 alumni among its ranks.

TOP OF THEIR GAME: From left - Dawn Butler and Jasmine Dotiwala

Ms Butler said:

“It was a great honour to host the London Undercover event in Parliament, to celebrate the Media Trust’s fantastic London 360 programme to increase diversity in the media. It was great to hear from so many successful people, including the many young and inspiring up-and-coming reporters from London360.
"I support the great work of the Media Trust and hope to see many more people of diverse backgrounds succeed and be heard in the media.”

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