Indi Deol, Director of DESIblitz web magazine and speaker at this year’s #RethinkMedia conference at Birmingham City University

There are many challenges in terms of cultural differences, trust and language especially.

What needs to be realised is that there is diversity within the ethnic communities themselves. For example, a British Asian is not just of the same background when it comes to South Asian roots. The person could be of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan heritage, who all have cultural differences such as food, language and even appearance. Appealing to these diverse audiences is a big challenge but at the same time an opportunity, if you are prepared to understand your audience and their needs.

Engaging ethnic communities needs firstly good understanding of the communities, their languages and analysing their generational differences. Like any market group, it is important to inform and enlighten them to engage, not preach or dictate. In addition, there needs to be good representation of the ethnic communities within the media industry in order for trust to be established.

The challenges have always been there in some shape or form. But since the advent of digital media and the speed of information delivery being accelerated, more and more people are consuming content now, than ever before, especially due to the growth of mobile technologies. Doors have opened to much larger and niche audiences and media has a strong role to play to provide content which connects with these audiences than broad blanket coverage.

The challenges are not new but different. To address them requires not ignoring ethnic audiences, including people from different backgrounds in your teams or organisation and appreciating differences and diversity between the UK’s ethnic minorities.

With the huge growth of ethnic media within countries like India and Pakistan who serve their own audiences, it is important to note that quality will play a big role. A lot of media coming out of the native countries does lack quality and is simply volume based.

#RethinkMedia returns to Birmingham on 16 March 2016 and will provide inspiring insights, informed debate and potential solutions to the many challenges facing the fast evolving digital media sector.

#RethinkMedia is organised by Birmingham City University and aims to support emerging media by showcasing new business models and the tools to improve content creation, maximise distribution and support audience engagement.

Find out more about the Rethink Media 2016 speakers and how to book.

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