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BRAIN commits to provide more opportunities to BIPOC journalists and contributors

Published October 13, 2020
Bicycle Retailer & Industry News has joined Outdoor Media 4 Inclusion, a group developing a list of content creators from marginalized groups.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — A group of publishers and editors who oversee consumer and business-to-business outdoor media titles has formed a working group, Outdoor Media 4 Inclusion, which will work to provide more opportunities for journalists and contributors who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, and members of other marginalized communities. 

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News has committed to OM4I's goals.

OM4I is creating an opt-in database of writers, reporters, photographers, videographers, designers, models, athletes, and artists who are seeking work with outdoor media outlets. The group, which plans to launch a website in the coming weeks, aims to share this database with outdoor publishers who want to elevate diverse voices and build professional relationships.

BRAIN's editor in chief, Steve Frothingham, said the bicycle trade title is committed to providing more opportunities for members of marginalized communities. "I'm increasingly aware that members of these groups are under-represented within cycling, in the industry, in retail stores, and within the pages of BRAIN. 

"I'm excited about adding new, diverse voices and talents to BRAIN and I'm looking forward to using the contributor database. We know it's not enough to, for example, post a story on encouraging potential contributors to apply. We need to actively recruit outside of our regular channels and we have started doing that. The OM4I database will be another valuable resource in our recruiting."

For 2021, BRAIN is seeking new members of its State of Retail panel, which provides retailers with a monthly platform to share their insights with other retailers and the industry. Frothingham said BRAIN is actively recruiting retailers from the BIPOC community to join the panel. There are also opportunities at BRAIN for regular columnists, freelance writers, photographers, illustrators and others, he said.

Kristin Hostetter, the editorial director of the outdoor trade titles SNEWS and The Voice, is a member of the working group that is developing OM4I. BRAIN, SNEWS and The Voice are owned by Pocket Outdoor Media. 

Hostetter said, “The outdoor industry knows it needs to diversify in terms of the stories we tell and the people we reach, but as outdoor publishers, we also know that we need to engage diverse content creators to tell those stories as well as report on the wide range of topics important to our communities today.

“With a few exceptions, we have failed to do that. We need to be more proactive and welcoming. By creating this working group and database, we hope, over time, to change the largely homogenous nature of outdoor consumer and B2B media.”

Publishers and editors who want access to the database are asked to join OM4I by signing and publicly posting a DEI commitment statement, acknowledging that they understand concepts such as tokenism and tone policing, agreeing to pay fair rates, and other criteria.

In addition to Howard and Hostetter, OM4I includes freelance editor Douglas Schnitzspahn (Elevation Outdoors and Outdoor Retailer) and Trina Ortega, editor-in-chief of Mountain Flyer.

“We hope to empower people and help grow a new generation of contributors,” says Schnitzspahn. “We see this as a chance to create long-lasting change.”

Ortega said, “As outdoor sports have grown over the years, they’ve become more cliquey and elite. As a Latina journalist, if I had not pushed my way into the field when I was young, I don’t know if I would feel comfortable today seeking out the contacts to expand my career. This is a starting point.”


Content creators: Join the database.

Editors and publishers: Request access to the database

The working group is seeking more diverse representation within OM4I. If you are a writer, editor, or publisher who identifies as BIPOC or as part of another marginalized group interested in joining our weekly meetings and can commit to 30 minutes each week, please email Hostetter or Howard

Topics associated with this article: DEI and Sustainability

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