The reasons for working with content diversity can be many, but for broadcasters and media companies in general, one reason is perhaps more central than others: In order to serve the public in all its diversity, it’s key to reflect that very diversity in the content.
As societies only become more diverse over time, it must come as no surprise that the task of ensuring content diversity is an ongoing task in order to not only be relevant but to stay relevant.
It can seem like a daunting task, but working with content diversity does not have to be a complicated matter. Actually, by monitoring just three key categories you can take a big leap towards more diverse content and thereby ensure that your content is as diverse as your audience. Here, we list three key metrics that will not only get you started - they will actually get you a long way.
According to the Global Media Monitoring Project 2020 report, women make up just 28 % of the sources in European media across print, radio and television - while they make up a little more than half the population. Looking specifically at experts, a recent survey done by Infomedia on the use of experts in Danish media shows that women make up just 6% of the 50 most cited experts. That’s 3 out of 50. With this skewed representation, it’s safe to say that there’s room for improvement - and possibility. Women are present in all layers of society meaning there is a large pool of unused potential.
Many editorial teams choose gender as their first tracking category. Perhaps because it’s a rather easy tracking to do, and with 99% of the global population identifying as either female or male according to numbers from the World Economic Forum, editorial teams are most likely to get an accurate idea of how screen time is shared between the vast majority.
Tracking ethnicity can be a hard nut to crack: How detailed should the tracking be and do you risk unintentional categorizing? Nevertheless, according to the European Federation of Journalists (2018), ethnic minorities are heavily underrepresented in most Western media, where it’s the white majority that gets a say on-screen. Similar evidence is suggested by the Danish report ‘Those We (Still) Talk About’ (Dem vi (stadig) taler om) from 2022. This shows that ethnic minorities make up just 3,5% of the sources in Danish news media, while the group makes up 14% of the population. Furthermore, the same report shows that sources with minority backgrounds are only used as sources in relation to their minority background.
This only goes to show that tracking ethnicity is highly important - both in terms of screen time, but also in relation to what kind of stories are told using sources with a minority background.
If you’re still not sure how to go forward, turning the ethnicity tracking on its head, focusing on the white majority can be a useful way to go ahead, as you will soon discover that white people get a much greater part of the screen time compared to the group’s share of the population.
Often overlooked in content diversity, age is actually an important category to keep track of. Especially in these times of change, where younger audiences flee traditional media in favor of TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram, and where both DR Audience Research Department's annual report as well as Reuters Institute Digital Report shows that around one in three of young media consumers avoid the news.
According to the annual report from DR, younger audiences demand relevance and news stories that reflect them and their lives. This also means seeing younger people on screen.
Tracking the average age of people on-screen will not only gain you insights on how your content reflects your target audience. Coupling age with for instance gender will allow you to gain insights on how you might reproduce stereotypes like women being younger than men when used as sources on screen. According to the Global Media Monitoring Project Danish country report from 2020, women are usually younger than men - and women almost disappear from the screen after 50.
Common for all three categories - gender, ethnicity and age - is that they can be monitored automatically by AI. Using automated tracking can be a useful tool to editorial teams starting out with tracking as well as those teams who have been tracking for a while.
At MediaCatch we have developed Diversity Tracker: AI-driven tracking of gender, ethnicity and age. All categories can be presented in the same dashboard to ensure a quick overview of your content diversity. Keeping on track with these three categories will ensure you are on top of your diversity data - and on track with your audience.
Download our Diversity Tracker presentation and get the background you need to inform your company's conversations around diversity and how you might drive efforts and measure the effects.
Then reach out and one of our skilled consultants will evaluate if your problem is solvable through AI. If yes, we can make sure to find the right AI solution that will super power the needs of your business.