Language Matters: Good practice for representing diverse identities

In this piece we provide a deep dive into good practice for the language used when referring to groups of people and outline some important principles to consider when it comes to speaking about and representing diverse communities.

The author(s)

  • Yas Asare Anderson Media Development
  • Nick Cook Media Development
  • Luke Farrall Media Development
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The UK is at a crossroads when it comes to diversity and inclusion in our society. Division and inequalities in our society have been brought more to the surface over the past year and during the Covid-19 pandemic. With this as the background, there is an even greater need to understand what it means to be inclusive, particularly given the unique cultural identities that exist in the UK.

An essential element of being an inclusive society is being armed with the right language to best talk about different groups with care and consideration.

In this piece, we explore the findings from research conducted for the BBC, BBC Studios and UKTV into inclusive language and hear first-hand from different communities to know what they want and need to feel represented properly through language that reflects their lived experience. This extends to the language used by organisations internally, but also the language that is used in our media and content. 

 

Methodology

This research was conducted between October and November 2020 by Ipsos MORI. Online communities with 60 participants ran as an initial phase. Participants were from a range of communities depending on ethnicity, sexual orientation or whether they consider themselves to have a disability. online communities happened over a 3-day period. Two-hour focus groups followed this initial phase with 30 participants selected from the online communities. Quantitative research was conducted via the Ipsos online omnibus with a nationally representative sample of n=1,000 in Great Britain.

The author(s)

  • Yas Asare Anderson Media Development
  • Nick Cook Media Development
  • Luke Farrall Media Development

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