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The BAME sector and the media - be prepared for the attention!

The black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) voluntary and community sector struggles to influence the national media. On the rare occasions when we do have some success we are often unprepared for the media interest. A recent example for BTEG was a speech made by Nick Clegg which pointed to racial bias in banking (evidence for this was taken from a BTEG publication). We received up to 10 calls from the national media in one morning and appeared on radio and TV the same day. Nearly all of the journalists wanted to speak to individuals that had experienced discrimination when applying for a loan from the bank. This proved very difficult to arrange and BTEG was simply not prepared for the media interest. In future, the BAME sector needs to be proactive and work together. .

BTEG has sent out many press releases over the past 20 years on unemployment, young people, educational attainment and parents. We do need to work together to improve our ability to get our message (the need to tackle growing race inequalities) across effectively. Perhaps the one area we can improve is to develop an evidence base to demonstrate how racism manifests itself in our every day experiences. We think we have to be systematic about this and produce a robust library of case studies. You will know from your own experience that journalists often connect more with individual stories rather than statistics showing long standing racial disadvantage.

BTEG has started to develop a small library of case studies and developed a case study proforma to be circulated to appropriate users, to a mix of people from our communities in terms of gender, faith and disability who are willing to speak to the media, if necessary. We are happy to share the template and our experiences in collecting case studies:

BTEG is not the only organisation to stress the need for and collect evidence in order to make our case stronger. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community is calling for written evidence for its inquiry into ethnic minority female unemployment.

I think this is very important for our communities and our organisations. Please contact BTEG if you have evidence to share or would like to discuss this with me or with any of my colleagues.


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