Social class and regional diversity are the main challenges in modern day journalism, says Nina Hossain

By Charlotte Lascelles

Yorkshire-born journalist, Nina Hossain, broke down the main issues and challenges of diversity in her talk about the media industry.

The ITV News presenter took part in Journalism and Media Week at Leeds Trinity University to talk about her thriving career, how the world of breaking news works and on the diversity challenges she faced when training as a journalist; not from being of Asian descent but for being from Huddersfield and having a state school education.

When undertaking her postgraduate diploma she was told that she would not make it as a broadcaster due to her strong Huddersfield accent.

Hossain spoke about her experience: “My course leader at the time said I would never make it in broadcast journalism because of the way that I sounded, it was a really crushing thing to hear.

“But I hadn’t come that far and spent that much money to listen to him because I believed at the time that my voice could be fixed.”

Nina went on to receive voice training and proved her course leader wrong by then going on to have a successful career in broadcast journalism.

Over the years she has seen events, such as Brexit, change how the media view national representation.

Hossain said: “I think Brexit made a lot of people in the media realise that we had to get out of the Westminster bubble.

“We can’t do national headline news from London for London, we really have to take seriously the wider population.”

But she believes that diversity in social class and education is still a huge issue in the media industry, as well as the lack of diversity in behind-the-scenes.

Nina explained: “We are seeing a changing face onscreen but big names, such as Emma Thompson, Jodie Whittaker and the like, are wanting to make sure that’s not just on screen, but also the film directors and screen writers.

“More than half of film students are women but then number of female directors is 13% so what’s going wrong there that all these women are studying film but are not getting into the industry.”

Journalism and Media Week concludes later today, follow @yorkshirev on Twitter for updates and get involved using #LTJMW.


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