This week, I wanted to give a shout out to News UK. As reported in The Drum today, this week they opened a photography and illustration agency to support unrepresented creative talent, with the aim of tackling nepotism in the media. Bridge Studios, News UK’s content agency, has just opened ’Studio PI,’ billed as a first-of-its-kind agency that will address the lack of diversity in the creative industry.This really is a great initiative.
It’s no secret that women, people of colour, people with disabilities and people from working-class backgrounds have been greatly underrepresented in the creative sector, a situation the pandemic has only exacerbated.
Sachini Imbuldeniya, creative director for Bridge Studios, expained the thinking behind the move:
“There has always been a bit of nepotism as a whole, where people get their foot in the door through their social connections. As a result, there were always really exceptional talented people who’s work I’ve never come across.”
Imbuldeniya explains that, due to busy workloads, art directors (herself included) can fall into ‘default mode‘ – going to the same places each time to find creatives. And so, she decided to challenge herself to search the world for fresh, innovative work she wouldn’t normally come across and champion those artists.
Pursuing commissions from publications and creative agencies across the sector, as well as News UK’s editorial brands and commercial teams, she explains that the team of seven (including herself) have started reaching out to creative directors, arbitrators, and art directors. “Essentially anyone that’s actually commissioning, and that will be across the board. So other publications, other creative agencies, other advertising agencies, so brands, clients, everyone, basically, we just want everyone to know that we exist, we want everyone to know that these artists are here.“