Having good and reliable experts is an essential part of journalism, however, in many cases pool of used experts is not diverse enough. The Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP) found a solution to this problem and recently launched an online platform called Expertalia.
The web tool, supported by the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, helps media professionals to find experts in various fields. The aim of the initiative is to bring more equality and diversity in the use of experts by the media. Journalists can use the expert directory if they want to renew their sources of information.
Today they have more than 280 experts, who specialise in areas such as science, law, economic, religion and others. In order to use the web tool, journalists just need to register on the website. Expertalia also has a partnership with the Diversity cell from the Belgian French-speaking public broadcaster (RTBF), which will promote the tool to its journalists and conduct training or coaching media.
Expertalia is part of an ongoing initiative carried out by the AJP on diversity in media. It is a concrete response to the unfortunately recurrent finding of deficiencies in equality and diversity in the media. according to previous studies in the Belgian French speaking media, among the 20 experts interviewed by reporters, only 4 are women (in television), and only 3 (daily press). In addition, the diversity of background among these experts is very poor, both in daily press and television (9% to 14% came from diverse origins).