Paper campaigns to attract disabled into journalism

A campaign has been launched that aims to increase the number of disabled people working in journalism.

Called Hacked Off, the campaign is being conducted by the Disability Now newspaper. It follows a survey by the paper, which found a quarter of UK colleges and universities had not accepted a single disabled student on to their journalism courses in the past three years.

The survey also claimed: Only a quarter of colleges had more than 5 per cent disabled students on their journalism courses.

A quarter did not cover the reporting of disability issues.

Most students identified as disabled had dyslexia or mental health problems; very few had mobility or sensory impairments.

Disability Now editor Mary Wilkinson said: “From our experience of recruitment we know disabled journalists are few and far between. This must change. Encouraging more disabled people into journalism will increase the diversity of the industry and improve disability awareness.”

The campaign is calling for newsrooms and journalism courses to reflect the 12.7 per cent of economically active people who are disabled. It also wants all journalism courses to cover the reporting of disability issues.

The paper surveyed 44 colleges and universities; only 20 fully responded.

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