Midsumma Festival to continue relationship with News Corp

Midsumma Carnival Promo Image_image by Coal Photography

Midsumma Festival have released a statement announcing they will continue their media partnership with News Corp following major backlash from the LGBTIQ+ community.

The partnership came under scrutiny from the LGBTIQ+ community in light of News Corp publications’ frequent criticisms of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program, as well as their relationship with columnists such as Miranda Devine, Rita Panahi, Chris Kenny and Andrew Bolt who regularly pen articles that are critical of marriage equality, transgender people and the LGBTIQ+ community.

Chief Executive of Midsumma Karen Bryant and members of the board say they have consulted with the community and have considered a broad range of factors pertaining to the partnership with News Corp.

“We have taken time to consult broadly within our diverse communities rather than making a snap decision under extreme pressure,” said Chair John Caldwell.

“As leaders in the community, we have an obligation to make the best decisions for the organisation, even when faced with intense scrutiny and I am confident we have made the right choice. I respect each and every view raised by our stakeholders and look forward to continuing to work with the wider community into the future.”

As part of the Midsumma consultation process, a survey was sent to Midsumma’s financial members, life members and subscribers outlining community concerns, and which asked six questions including whether Midsumma should continue the partnership with News Corp. Midsumma say 80% of members surveyed hopes to retain the relationship, as did 56% of subscribers.

“Midsumma recognises the important role that it plays as a key LGBTQIA+ organisation. We take our responsibilities very seriously and strive very hard to provide safe spaces, positive messaging and profile for our diverse communities. We believe strongly in active positive engagement and education with regards to all of the partnerships and relationships we have in place,” said Chief Executive Karen Bryant.

“I accept that there will be some who will be dissatisfied with this outcome. However at this time, with only a matter of weeks to January, the Midsumma team must now be able to get on with operations and the business of supporting and promoting the many independent LGBTQIA+ artists and community groups who will feature in Midsumma Festival 2017. We hope you will join us in that support.”

OIP Staff


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