Joy Francis writes about media, racism and change for Media Diversity Institute

Words of Colour’s executive director Joy Francis is one of 25 journalists and media specialists invited to contribute to a soon to be published book commemorating the 25th anniversary of the international NGO the Media Diversity Institute (MDI).

The former journalist and MDI trustee was invited to write about her 15 years as a journalist and 25 years as a media consultant, strategist and academic, working internationally from Brussels and Algeria to the US and the Balkans, and on high profile public inquests, such as Hillsborough.

Francis has also collaborated with former Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow and established and ran the UK’s first national print journalism internship programme for students of colour through her first company, the Creative Collective, co-founded with journalists David Gyimah, Veena Josh, Paul Macey and Henry Bonsu (pictured with Jon Snow)

On her time as a media trainer and consultant working in the Balkans, Francis writes: “I was unfailingly the only black person in the room. Any fear of having to confront unwelcomed or inappropriate racial tropes was quickly dashed. Unlike my experience in Britain, being black was viewed as an asset. My Black British journalist credentials and navigation of racism and discrimination carried weight. My lived experience was of genuine interest, and I didn’t have to ‘justify’ my presence or thought leadership. What I did have to face was nuanced sexism.”

You can read Joy Francis’ full essay on the MDI website.

The book ‘Media Diversity Institute @ 25: Then, Now and Beyond’, will be launched at MDI’s 25th anniversary event at The Frontline Club, Paddington, at 6pm on 17th November 2023. To book your free ticket for the in-person launch, go to the MDI Eventbrite page.

Photo credit: Robin Forster