Why isn’t our press more diverse?: Hannah Pool

Freelance journalist

In 1993 the media were dominated by white, middle-class, Oxbridge males. Open up your newspaper today and you'll see much the same faces, perhaps with a few new grey hairs, and with the exception of a handful of individuals who've managed to break through this concrete ceiling. It's not just technology that has made the traditional media look outdated, it's that the establishment has failed to keep up with the UK's changing demographic.

Those who define themselves as mixed race or dual heritage are the fastest-growing segment of the population in this country and yet the media still treat anything to do with race as a case of white v black, local v foreign. It's far more complex than that. On the plus side, there's a basic acceptance that certain phrases are no longer acceptable, but when a race story takes off it's a matter of seconds before a stream of commentators line up to start complaining about political correctness.

A newsroom is at its best when it reflects the society it reports on, whether that's in terms of race, gender or class. You only have to look at the coverage of the summer riots, much of which was thinly veiled racism, with a good dose of class hatred thrown in, to see how out of touch the media still are.

This article first appeared in the 16 January 2012 issue of the New Statesman, The battle for Britain