Call for Papers: AJE Winter Conference – Diversity, disability and wellbeing in journalism practice and education


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

AJE online event

Time: 13.30 – 16.30

Recent statistics from the Diversity in Journalism NCTJ Report (2021) show that around 14% of British journalists are disabled and 16% claim they have a “work-limiting health condition”.

More than a third of the participants stated that their workplace was not sensitive to mental health and neurodiversity. The environment in which disabled journalists work, including many with hidden disabilities, is often dismissive of their conditions or does not make sufficient adjustments to accommodate their needs.

The Media Diversity Institute notes instances of blind journalists who did not get any resources for shorthand in their journalism courses; and a journalist with Cerebral Palsy who was told they could not get their NCTJ qualification if they did not pass their shorthand exam (al-Najar, 2022). In other examples, wheelchair-dependent young journalists were using their student loans to pay for accessible hotels during placements.

The research shows that the challenges that disabled newcomers to the field of journalism encounter emerged while they were studying at University. While universities have become more inclusive spaces and journalism educators can provide support, many do not fully understand the challenges or have the capacity and resources to support disabled students and to ensure they thrive in a fast-paced and often stressful environment.

We invite colleagues to submit abstracts on a range of themes related to the topic for our next event ranging from but not limited to:

  • Innovative practices in teaching and supporting disabled students
  • Disability and work placements/internships
  • Mental health in journalism education
  • Teaching trauma literacy and self-care
  • Accessibility issues in journalism education and training
  • Diversity in the media industry
  • Widening participation, apprenticeships
  • Covid-19 and wellbeing (e.g. supporting students with long Covid)
  • Embedding equality, diversity and inclusivity into learning & teaching journalism

Please submit a 150-word abstract by November 30,  2022 to Dr. Lada Price, Department of Journalism Studies; University of Sheffield:

Sign-up to attend the conference here.