LIVE: Vidar Hjardeng: “Geographical diversity is as important as any other.”

ITV Diversity Consultant Vidar Hjardeng discusses the issues around inclusivity at Leeds trinity Journalism Week.

ITV Diversity Consultant Vidar Hjardeng discusses the issues around inclusivity at Leeds Trinity Journalism Week.

By Matthew Brannen

ITV News diversity consultant Vidar Hjardeng has told students at Leeds Trinity Journalism Week that geographical diversity was as important as any other.

Vidar Hjardeng, who was awarded his MBE in 2012 for services to visually impaired people and to broadcasting, has spent more than 25 years at ITV as well as working for groups that help the blind and partially sighted.

He told the audience at Leeds Trinity University that diversity was about representing a wide spectrum of views. The struggle, he said, was about representing all of them.

Planning news was an important aspect in representing a wide range of views, and speaking to a range of people instead of the same old sources. “Journalism all about who you know, who can you get in touch with,” Vidar said.

“If you have done your planning it will help you be prepared to deal with everything.

“Everyone out there has a view on most issues and would like to have that view reflected.”

Before entering his current role, Vidar was an editor/executive producer on political, religious and social action magazine programmes, which then allowed him to move into ITV News’ Senior Management team before assuming his current role.

Vidar said he was proud of the work ITV had completed in the field of diversity. “Within ITV we have a number of initiates,”

“We have diversity champions.”

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