What PressPad aims to do in the meantime to achieve its aim of creating a more equal and diverse media industry is achieved through our unique grassroots social enterprise model of host-mentorship.
Anybody with a work experience or internship placement in London, who is not from London, can apply to be a PressPad intern. Once we verify their placement and read their application, PressPad matches interns with suitable mentor-hosts from another organisation.
PressPad handles all the logistics and matching leaving interns with free accommodation and much-needed, out-of-hours mentorship. Our interns also get access to special events (like the Frontline Club, or Byline Festival) and attend meet-ups we organise with other PressPad interns & hosts: In the media networking is often only available to those with pre-existing connections through families or friends. We want to change that too.
This scheme works primarily by engaging and benefiting three distinct groups, whose work then brings broader benefits to the UK society as a whole:
- The first are aspiring journalists from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities who live outside of London. This group often, but not always, include African-Caribbean, Muslim, LGBTQ and white working class communities.
- The second are media professionals and journalists. We want to see the media community empower change in their own workplaces by challenging themselves, and their organisations, through their participation in our scheme and networking with disadvantaged youth.
- The third group are the businesses and media organisations themselves whose business models will strive as they create more socially relevant content aided by the inclusion of more diverse and better networked staff. This is important, because their position as some of the most powerful of organisations in our society means that their influence can go on to influence other sectors of society. Making this group care and engage with effective diversity schemes, like PressPad – not tick-box exercises – is vital.