By Samuel Lam
For the fifth consecutive year, AAJA-Los Angeles welcomes CBS Entertainment Diversity as a sponsor to the 2016 V3 Digital Media Conference. The partnership with CBS has been vital in V3con’s mission to spread information about the evolution of digital media.
Jeanne Mau, Vice President of CBS Entertainment Diversity, has been with CBS for 16 years and is excited to be returning this year. V3con’s annual conference will be held at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on June 24-25. Mau values the impact CBS has with Asian-American and Pacific Islander journalists.
“Understanding that the nature of our evolving media landscape requires any forward thinking company to be mindful of its audience,” Mau explained. “The CBS audience consists of viewers from so many different backgrounds, and being a part of V3con provides us access to a community that is influential in shaping the narrative of what audiences are looking for.”
Mau, who will be a plenary moderator at V3con, oversees the CBS Diversity Institute, which provides participants with access and knowledge about the everyday decision-making process. The growing program allows participants to understand the workings in network television both in front of and behind the camera.
CBS seeks to promote diversity as well as encourage creativity from all different avenues.
“We hope that the CBS Diversity Institute, which falls under the CBS Entertainment Diversity Department, helps to increase the conversation and the call-to-action on all things inclusion – inclusion for talented creators in front of as well as behind the camera,” Mau said. “It all starts with an idea, and that idea comes from a writer, and if we can see more writers who reflect the makeup of this country – as well as directors and actors, we can reach a broader audience.”
There is a true value in reaching out to the AAPI community, and journalists are encouraged to reach out and see how much they can learn and how far they can grow. The program offers numerous components to the program: a writers mentoring program, writers fellowship, directing initiative, talent showcases, daytime initiative and actor career workshops.
Mau is encouraged by the success of the Diversity Institute and believes there are greater things to come.
“We have been able to break in emerging writers, directors, actors as well as executives into television,” Mau said. “We’ve also been able to shape the narrative on shows by challenging our showrunners to be mindful in their casting and writing process when it comes to telling complex stories that revolve around diverse characters.”
As the media world continues to evolve, CBS is evolving as well. The Diversity Institute is evidence of that change.
“While our bread and butter is content, I think CBS has been really strategic in how viewers accesses that content,” Mau said. “Ownership is vital in allowing our company to control where our product lives, but more importantly, it gives us a bigger platform to experiment new content in different ways.”