Startup Showcase: PressPad – Removing Barriers to Diversity in Media

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As the media industry continues to struggle with its diversity and inclusivity problem, one startup is taking action to remove one of the main financial obstacles to those trying to enter the profession. PressPad, a London-based project, aims to provide affordable accommodation to aspiring media professionals who are on unpaid internships, placements, or short-term contracts in the city.

PressPad’s unique model serves as a game-changer, promising to level the playing field for those who lack the means to cover rent in London. Here’s a closer look at how PressPad is making waves in the media industry with its innovative approach to diversity and inclusion.

An overview of PressPad

PressPad is an award-winning project that launched in 2019 with the mission to make the media industry more diverse and accessible. The company provides affordable accommodation for aspiring journalists who have already secured an internship or placement in London. Their aim is to remove one of the biggest barriers to entry – housing – and create a more inclusive media landscape.

The startup’s founders, Olivia Crellin and Laura Garcia, originally met while studying for their master’s degrees in journalism at City, University of London. They were inspired to create PressPad after experiencing first-hand the challenges of finding affordable accommodation in the city. Their solution involved connecting aspiring journalists with established journalists who had extra space in their homes and were willing to offer it at an affordable price.

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How PressPad Works

PressPad works on a simple yet innovative model that connects interns and journalists in need of affordable accommodation with established journalists who have extra space in their homes. Hosts are carefully screened and selected based on their background, experience, and willingness to support diversity in the industry. The fees charged to the interns are cost-neutral, meaning that PressPad doesn’t make a profit from the scheme.

In addition to providing affordable accommodation, PressPad also offers a support network for its tenants. The company’s founders have put together a directory of mentors, industry events, relocation advice, and emotional support so that interns can thrive in their roles and focus on their professional growth without worrying about the high cost of living in London.

PressPad’s Future Plans

Since its inception, PressPad has been making waves in the media industry, and the startup has ambitious plans for the future. The company aims to expand rapidly in the next few years to meet the substantial demand for affordable accommodation from aspiring journalists outside London.

PressPad has also partnered with major media organizations, including the BBC and the Guardian, to promote diversity in the industry. Recently, the startup won the Nesta New Radicals award for social innovation, highlighting the effectiveness and impact of its innovative approach to address one of the pressing issues of the media industry – diversity and inclusion.

Final thoughts: Removing Barriers to Diversity

PressPad is a prime example of how startups can make a real difference in industries facing complex problems like the lack of diversity in media. The startup’s model provides a clear path for bridging the gap and making affordable accommodation accessible to anyone who wants to pursue their dream of becoming a journalist.

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As the media industry continues to address the issues of diversity and inclusivity, PressPad’s unique solution serves as a beacon of hope, fostering a more inclusive, vibrant, and diverse industry. Anyone interested in applying or supporting the project can visit their website and socials.





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