Last week at It’s Nice That, we paused our normal publishing following Blackout Tuesday. We used the rest of the week to reflect on our practices as an editorial platform and to assess how we can improve when it comes to representation, both internally as an organisation and externally as a voice within the creative industry. It’s clear that in various areas we have fallen short of our own standards and values, and so, here we’d like to outline some firm commitments for how we’re going to change going forward.
We know that the success of such initiatives depends entirely on them being committed to and maintained for the long term. We welcome scrutiny, and being challenged and held accountable on these actions. But we’re also conscious of not taking up too much space in this discussion, so we’d rather let our actions speak for themselves after today.
The greatest impact we can have is through using our voice and giving a platform to Black creatives, staying true to our mission of championing creativity in all its forms. So, we will launch a review into our editorial practices to assess how we can improve in the future and will use this review to create new editorial guidelines for our team. We will be adding regular checks in at crucial points throughout our editorial process, increasing time for our writers to research creatives, and increasing budgets for commissioning writers outside of our core team.
Meanwhile, every month from this week onwards, we will be donating online advertising space on our website to organisations working to make the creative industries more diverse. We will also donate 100 per cent of the profits from this month’s Nicer Tuesdays Online ticket sales to organisations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
We will also look again at our style guide to see where changes ought to be implemented. Last week, we made a small but significant change, updating our style guide so that from now on, we will write “Black” with a capital “B”. This is a recognition of Black culture, which we in the creative industries benefit from every single day (we found this article particularly eye-opening on the subject and would encourage other publishers to read it).
However, we also recognise the need for us to change internally as a team. Our umbrella company, the HudsonBec Group, has had an internal DEI team for the past two years, but we have to acknowledge that this has not had the desired impact on our workforce. Over the next three months, we will reassess our DEI strategy to see how it can be made more impactful. This will also affect recruitment. We re-shaped our hiring practices eighteen months ago in an effort to encourage more applications from BAME candidates, but again we have to hold our hands up and admit that these changes did not go far enough. So, we are going to rework our recruitment processes again. In the meantime, every member of staff will receive unconscious bias training.
Finally, last year, we launched a placement scheme for young people from backgrounds that are under-represented within the creative industries. We are going to review this scheme to assess how we can make it more specific and impactful, and how it can eventually lead to more concrete opportunities. We will also continue working with partner organisations such as Create Jobs and Inspiring the Future, making these partnerships more impactful.
We outline these initiatives here both to hold ourselves accountable, but also to open up and invite a conversation within our industry. We want to learn from others and continue to change for the better. This has to be an ongoing effort and can’t be a flash in the pan. So, as ever, if you have any thoughts on how we can improve or if you have any other feedback, then please get in touch with our editor Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.