White Privilege in a Journalist’s World

Image Source: Allan B West/Getty Images

Being a 19-year-old aspiring journalist, my ideologies of what is right and wrong is definitely going change whilst i’m studying at university.

Now there is no denying white privilege exists. It exists and I doubt it is going away anytime soon, which is unfortunate.

As a young white woman, the fact that I have more of a chance at succeeding in this industry compared to my peers from different backgrounds, is a little sad when they are equally or even more capable than i’ll ever be.

A British Study from the City University London reveals that the British journalism industry is 94% white, 86% university-educated and 55% male. 

With only 0.4% of British journalists being Muslim, and 0.2% are black (The Guardian, 2016).

The study also revealed that 65% of journalists were female, however whilst the women remained underpaid and under-promoted, almost all ethnic groups and religions were significantly under-represented within the industry.

So I think it is safe to assume Australia doesn’t stray too far from its British cousin.

I mean, news bulletins like Channel Nine and Seven provide enough evidence to know the journalism industry within Australia is majority made up of white people.

Journalists such as Lee Lin Chin and Waleed are the only two journalists I can think of that do represent other ethnic backgrounds in the industry…two journalists out of the thousands currently in Australia.

Robert Jensen, writer of “White people need to acknowledge benefits of unearned privilege” pretty much hit the nail on the head when it comes to white privilege.

He says white privilege is “the dirty secret that we white people carry around with us every day: in a world of white privilege, some of what we have is unearned”.

Although I can’t deny the colour of my skin and what privilege it brings me, my aim is to be the change this industry needs.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I do not and should not want to rely on my white privilege to ‘snag’ a job.

I want to someone to hire me purely because I am good at what I do, and not what I represent.







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