Diverse Contributors for the Press

New membership service for journalists covering Southampton and the Hampshire region.

Our Version Media CIC exists to increase authentic representation of the south’s black British, African and Caribbean communities. This includes in the media.

Our 2020 media survey of black people in Southampton revealed that more than three quarters said they do not feel fairly and accurately represented in local news coverage.

Over-the-shoulder close up of man reading news on mobile phone

75% felt there was a negative bias against black people in local news coverage, with the majority saying the media was more likely to cover stories about black people that were crime, violence or drugs related.

Respondents said this made them feel “depressed”, “under-represented”, “sad, misunderstood and stereotyped”, “concerned for the younger generation”, and “unwanted, angry and frustrated”. 

The survey revealed a link between the type of coverage and people’s wellbeing: on seeing a positive local black story, respondents said it made them feel “fantastic and included”, “uplifted and proud”, and “inspired”.

Our Version Media has responded to that by introducing a Black Community Coverage Clinic, to equip local people with media skills to tell their own stories and developed a Media Reporting Tool to encourage the city’s residents to report negative racially-biased reporting. We’ve also been working with journalists across the region.

Now we’ve created an Our Version Media membership for journalists and newsrooms who are committed to increasing diversity in their news reports and coverage. We provide our member journalists with diverse contributors, case studies and expert speakers for their news reports. Members also have access to our private Story Centre, our regularly refreshed catalogue of timely, human interest and lead-worthy, diverse story ideas with contributors. To join, please complete the form below and we’ll get in touch.

Membership rates:

Journalist – freelance £400 one year / £700 two years

Journalist – employee £650 one year / £1,200 two years

News organisation – Ask about our sponsorship opportunity to unlock full membership benefits for up to 10 members of your news team.