Diversity and Digital Media: Aidem Digital and DESIblitz
It is well established that there is a need for greater diversity within the media. A more diverse landscape helps bring attention to otherwise underrepresented communities and better reflects the society in which we live. Many people also feel inadequately catered to by mainstream outlets and look for news and media which reflect their personal interests, background and culture. Online magazine DESIblitz is one UK publication that is serving a diverse subset of the country’s population. As a multi-award winning news and lifestyle website aimed at the British Asian community, DESIblitz is also part of a social enterprise.
The magazine, which has won ‘best website’ three times at the national Asian Media Awards, aims to deliver quality content primarily to British Asian and Desi (of the Indian subcontinent) communities worldwide. This includes providing feature stories, informative articles and exclusive video interviews on a range of topics. It also provides exposure to key social events and activities, helping to connect the diaspora with culturally significant occasions and affairs. Internally, DESIblitz offers journalistic development and support for young budding writers, editors and video editors, giving them the opportunity to be fully immersed in the world of media and journalism and produce unique and engaging content for its audience.
DESIblitz’s parent company, Aidem Digital, is a Community Interest Company which was founded in 2008 by Indi Deol. “I come from a British Asian background myself and I know how digital exclusion and poor literacy skills can be another barrier in preventing people from diverse backgrounds from getting into meaningful work” he says.
Indi and his team aim to address these issues through coaching and teaching digital skills to people from ethnic minority backgrounds who are keen to get into the media industry. This is both through DESIblitz and Aidem Digital itself, which specialises in developing and delivering digital media projects with social impact. Aidem offers a whole range of digital media solutions to its clients including video production, website design, photography and graphic design, so there are plenty of areas in which its trainees can gain experience.
While the social impact created through both organisations is part and parcel of what they do, Founder and Director Indi stresses the importance for social businesses to lead with a commercial product or service first - “I think social enterprises need to think as mainstream as commercial businesses from the outset” he says. “Most of the organisations who work with us on DESIblitz do not know we are a social enterprise until we tell them.” For DESIblitz, the team prioritises producing top quality for the magazine while, at the same time, fostering diversity in media and supporting a new generation of journalists.
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