Rapid-Round Congress Q&A: Shirish Kulkarni, award-winning journalist, researcher and community organiser

Diversity and Inclusion has been a key topic for FIPP Congress events several years now, reflecting the changing nature of company employees and ultimately board rooms. Yet, much work remains.

In this Congress speaker Q&A:

  • Shirish tells us about his career.
  • Shares his thoughts on key trends in media, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion and developing storytelling with impact.

The age-old monopoly of male-dominated top tables in publishing has been broken and recent surveys have highlighted that the number of women in management positions in the media in some territories is now on a par with men. Yet, there remains much to be done to achieve genuine diversity and inclusion, reflecting minority communities in their leadership teams.

Savvy companies will realise that the best way to engage with their audiences is to have leadership and other teams that reflect them in all their diversity.

At FIPP World Media Congress in Cascais, Portugal, on 6-8 June, award-winning journalist and researcher, Shirish Kulkarni, will be explaining how diversity and inclusion can ignite innovation, taking companies into places that they might not have ventured before.

For specially discounted tickets click here.

  • Our group launch offer is available until 1 February
  • Our pre-agenda offer for individuals is available until 14 February

Here Shirish responds to our four rapid-round questions.

Who are you? And what is your role in the media/publishing?

I’m an independent journalist, researcher, consultant and community organiser focusing on innovation and inclusion in storytelling. I’m working across a range of projects at that intersection right now, including a two year R&D programme with BBC News Labs and Media Cymru, which is looking at how we can use new storytelling approaches to reach audiences who aren’t currently engaging with journalism.

What have been the highlights of your career in media/publishing so far?

Over a 25 year career, I’ve worked in every major broadcast newsroom in the UK, and done almost every job – editing network news programmes, being a camera operator/editor in the field, winning awards for investigative journalism, and even being a broadcast drone pilot.

In recent years, I’ve focused on community organising and research in order to build a model of reflective journalism, which I see as the only sustainable future for our sector. My work has had global impact, and I’ve presented my research at the Reuters Institute, the World News Media Congress, the International Journalism Festival, the Future of Journalism Conference and many others.

What do you see as the three key trends in the media?

  • The importance of genuine inclusion in the industry, to ensure that everyone’s stories are told – not just stories for and by a largely white (at least in the Global north)/male/middle class/metropolitan minority
  • The growing availability/sophistication of AI tools. Often these are seen as a threat to the industry, but I see them as presenting unique opportunities to fundamentally redefine journalism in positive ways.
  • The potential to create new storytelling experiences and to move away from the one-to-many “article” as the basic building block of journalism.

Why are these trends important and how will they change media/publishing?

All of these trends are important because they point to the same thing – different stories, told by different people, in different ways.

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About Congress

The FIPP World Media Congress is a must-attend event for anyone in leadership positions in the media. Delegates can hear from an incredible range of media thought leaders and influencers while networking with their peers in the resort’s stunning venues and hotels.

For specially discounted tickets click here.

  • Our group launch offer is available until 1 February
  • Our pre-agenda offer for individuals is available until 14 February


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