A Germ’s Journey Discussion – Never Overlooking People

Over a series of three conversations, A Germ’s Journey brings together a group of practitioners and advocates of community-focussed health and community media are coming together to talk about the challenge of public health messages and information in Leicester. These discussions will explore how Leicester-based community health and communication practitioners have been making use of different media platforms, so that they can assist our often overlooked and under-represented communities.

Our question is:

  • How can we give the best care, guidance and information to all the residents of our city?

Our second conversation explores the causes and effect of media marginalisation. We asked why it is that some people are ignored and overlooked in mainstream media communications, both locally and nationally. Our conversation considered if media marginalisation is systematic and structural, for example in relation to access to platforms? Or, if marginalisation is a cultural problem founded on a lack of awareness and understanding leading to a lack of parity of representation?

It’s important that we understand and ask this question: was the lockdown here in Leicester exacerbated because of biased social assumptions? Or, was it exacerbated because of deeper rooted social inequalities? Whatever the reason, healthcare communications during the lockdown clearly failed to recognise the diverse communications needs of many people from different social backgrounds here in Leicester.

Race and ethnicity play a huge part in this, but so does class, faith, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, and many other social characteristics. In this conversation we wanted to consider if communications practitioners are doing enough to understand and address the concerns of people from groups that are regularly overlooked. Our immediate concern is to think through what can be done to change the dynamic of healthcare communications in Leicester?

Joining Rob Watson today are:

Sam Hunt, the daytime station manager of Leicester Community Radio.

Dr Marie Nugent, a Public Engagement manager with the University of Leicester.

Jal Kang, Managing Director at Shrinker UK, an online communications company.

Salim Khalifa, Director of Trade Sexual Health.

A Germ's Journey Discussion
A Germ’s Journey Discussion

These discussions are produced as part of the A Germ’s Journey project, led by Professor Sarah Younie and Dr Katie Laird of De Montfort University, and are supported by a grant from the Higher Education Innovations Fund (HEIF) and DMU Local. Germ’s Journey links people across three continents to promote the message that handwashing is an essential part of our personal and public health responsibilities. A Germ’s Journey supports people in developing communities to make and share their own trusted and engaging media content about public health and hygiene. Underpinning A Germ’s Journey is the idea that public health information is more effective if co-produced by people who share an affinity and common life-experiences. This means making media that reflects what it is like to live in a specific place and community. Germ’s Journey aims to support public health focussed communications that fits with local social and cultural priorities, that meets the expectations and priorities of people acting for themselves to make home grown improvements in their health and wellbeing.

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