Producing Transformative Projects

Photo, courtesy of the then Guild (now Company of Entrepreneurs) and being asked by my friend Lee Robertson ( then the Master) to deliver the Summer keynote.

I had an epiphany this morning for an epic transformative project across diversity-storytelling-tech. Here we go, I thought. Anytime I might say that to someone or an organisation eye’s roll. I guess it’s standard.

But each time something comes out of it. This year my colleague and I, amongst stiff competition were awarded innovation funds to create a tech-story hub in Wales.

This week I was honoured to be asked, and accepted, by the Royal Television Society to be one of their jurors for the creme de la creme of British Television.

And I’m really chuffed to bits to have been on of the British Library’s select academics helping to shape it incredible exhibition in April 2022 exhibiting five centuries of News. It’s been almost two years in the making because of COVID delays. And I have a penciled meeting in Easter with senior CEOs.

Every project for me is about attempting to make things better, often by challenging orthodoxies. For instance in a post coming soon, I’ll explain how like BAME, the term ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ requires attention. It may surprise you. It starts with my archive of an interview with Lord Ouseley (then Herman Ouseley in 1992) about to take the chair at the CRE.

Yet this is idea I truly believe is a game changer. I can’t say much about it but here’s more on my background.

Background
Dr David Dunkley Gyimah is an accomplished media practitioner with more than 30-years’ experience, and an International award-winning journalist, educator, former artist in residence at the Southbank Centre and a long-standing diversity champion.

In the 1990s he presented the only talk show on BBC London radio called “Black London” targeted at listeners interested in Black issues. Among the issues he produced and presented were interviews with Oxford university’s first intake of a black and brown students, Fela Kuti, Herman Ouseley (now Lord Ouseley) on the CRE and Kanye King.

In 2021, he took an idea to the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, which resulted in the U.K.’s first commercial and academic journal addressing media diversity co-financed by the Vice Chancellors of Cardiff University in Birmingham City University.

In “Access All Areas: the Diversity Manifesto for TV and Beyond” by Lenny Henry and Marcus Ryder on page 155 they quote.

“And the last work stream only came up when Dr David Dunkley Gyimah, a senior lecturer at Cardiff University, suggested launching a journal together so we could publish works by both seasoned and young academics and media professionals on how to increase the number of underrepresented groups in the industry”.

Previously David has worked with boxer Lennox Lewis. He was Lewis’ filmmaker when he fought Tyson in 2001 in Minneapolis, for the Undisputed Heavyweight position. He directed a young Oswald Boateng’s first ever film on Saville Row in the early 90s and created the United States of Africa, a co-production between Ghana TV and South Africa TV in the mid-90s, making Ghana TV one of the first networks to use Digital technology. Prior to that, he launched Breakfast TV in Ghana.

As an artist-in-residence at the Southbank centre he has made films on then fellow artist Lemn Sissay MBE and collaborated with Prof Shirley Thompson’s Obama 100 Days in creating the visuals for the live performance in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. He was part of a group of creatives invited to share ideas for the London 2012 Olympics theme and opening ceremony.

More recently, he was behind the Leaders List an exhibition, book, event and film focusing on UK leading UK TV producers of colour making TV for those interested in Black people’s experience. The Department of Culture said it was a “striking and original way to highlight the contribution that people from BAME background make to the broadcasting sector”.

David has retained a rich archive of footage from his work, which was recently deemed “historically important” by FIAT/IFA a global body behind preserving archive material. He’s working with an archive producer Jose Va

David’s work has been featured extensively in academic books. He is the first Brit to win the coveted US Batten Awards for Innovation in Journalism, which five years later was won by the Guardian newspaper. He is behind the global cinema journalism movement — a new form of journalism — and is an internationally renowned video journalist who has worked across the world e.g. China, Egypt, India, and South Africa where he was formally a foreign correspondent during the apartheid er.

Three years ago, he was voted one of the top 40 influential Ghanaians in the UK in Ghana Abroad magazine, part of the African Voice Special Supplement profiling 61 influential Ghanaians in the Diaspora. David has been one of eight UK academics advising the British Library on the April 2022 Exhibition on five centuries of news. He attended Prempeh college and is a passionate Amanfo.

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Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah

Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah

Top Writer & Creative Technologist, Int. Award Winner. Cinemajournalist. Cardiff Uni @jomec. PhD (Dublin). Visiting Prof UBC, Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled.