Only 13% of the UK population live in London. So, how many national media outlets do you think are based there?
If you guessed 100%, you’re absolutely correct. The reality is that voices outside London are largely ignored – the opinion of Londoners being portrayed as the opinion of the nation.
“Young people reject Brexit,” declare headlines that ignore the fact that, the further north you go, the fewer young people support remaining in the EU.
“More young people than ever going to university”, declare reporters who don’t pause to consider those who don't go to university and don't get the same opportunities. Class is seen as a relic of the 20th century, even while Westminster journalism is dominated by the privately educated.
That’s why we’re launching our No Barriers campaign: to encourage people from non-traditional backgrounds to write for our platform, and to break the Westminster echo chamber. If you come from a working-class background, or were brought up in a small town, or if you’re a person of colour, or if you didn’t go to university (or don't want to go to university), we want to publish your thoughts on current affairs.
You will receive support from our dedicated editorial team who will give you feedback on everything you write and help to hone your journalistic abilities. Indeed, Backbench is a proven training ground for future journalists, no matter who you are or where you are from. There are no barriers to writing for Backbench and our former writers and editors have gone on to work for the BBC, ITV News, the Press Association, the Telegraph, the Evening Standard, and the New Statesman.
You might not be thinking about your future career, you might just want to have your voice heard. Whatever your reason, now is the time to begin writing for Backbench.
The face of journalism needs to change, and that starts with us.