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Fantastic turn out for June’s Politics and the Media masterclass at House of Commons

Creative Access were honoured to host our June masterclass at the spectacular House of Commons in Westminster. The session on Politics and the Media attracted over 130 current interns and alumni and our fantastic panel of speakers were on hand to provide inspiring words of wisdom.

Baroness Margaret McDonagh hosted the evening and kicked off the session by reminding our interns of the importance of good work etiquette. She also encouraged the group to take full advantage of their mentors. She said “You need to make sure you find a sponsor in the organisation you are in. They are your key to breaking the industry.”

We were privileged to be joined by Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale who discussed some of the key issues the TV sector is currently facing and reinforced  the importance of adapting to new media. John also explained some of the measures the government has recently taken to increase diversity in the creative sector. He said “It’s great what Creative Access are doing and much more needs to be done to diversify the creative sector”.

MP for Edmonton, Kate Osamor spoke next and discussed her experiences in the politics. She spoke about how she became an MP and why it’s important to give hope to future generations and give them the confidence to progress in the media. She said “The TV sector is 95% white. We need to make sure more BAME talent reaches senior level.”

The next speaker was MP for Tooting, Sadiq Khan who shared his inspiring story with our interns. Sadiq reminded our interns of the importance of networking and and not living up to the stereotypes that society places on ethnic minorities. He said “You are sitting in the corridors of power and you belong where you are. The benefit of Creative Access is that you guys are now a network and you need to utilise that. You should not allow yourself to be ghettoised. There is no reason why you can’t achieve anything you want.”

Finally, MP for Norwich South, Clive Lewis completed the panel line up with his passionate speech. From starting his career as a journalist, to becoming the MP for Norwich South, Clive talked about his career and advised our interns not to shy away from being political and to join trade unions to make a positive change. He said “The arts are being dominated by people from a privileged backgrounds. As a BAME person you need to be political to change that. When you’re BAME you ask yourself if you’re not making it because of your race or because you’re not talented. I made a conscious decision to help my community and young black people. You need to make the same decision to change things.”

Creative Access founder Michael Foster wrapped up the evening by leaving our interns with some valuable tips on how to have a successful and sustainable career and we closed the evening with a wonderful networking session.

We would like to say a massive thank-you to our inspirational panel members:

  • Baroness Margaret McDonagh
  • John Whittingdale, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting
  • Kate Osamor, MP for Edmonton
  • Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South