‘We have big plans’: How Missing Perspectives is kicking its goal to transform the media industry

by Women’s Agenda
Friday 4 August 2023

For Phoebe Saintilan and Hannah Diviney, the founders of Missing Perspectives, it’s hard to believe it’s been two years since they launched their global media company for young women showcasing stories that are often overlooked by the general media.

The pair have spent the past year developing and building the Missing Perspectives Directory, an app which will allow domestic and international newsrooms with young female reporters to connect with each other across the globe.

“We basically want to remove all the pain points that stop newsrooms from hiring local reporters on the ground – and also boost young female representation in the news industry,” Saintilan told Women’s Agenda.

She praised the works of brilliant young female reporters and hopes that the app will connect women from Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and all over to leading newsrooms around the world.

In the same month the app is due to launch, Saintilan’s business partner Hannah Diviney will release her debut book, “I’ll Let Myself In: Breaking down doors, claiming space and finding your wheels” — a collection of personal essays about her experiences of disabled womanhood.

It comes just under a year after Diviney starred in the ground-breaking SBS series, “Latecomers” — an experience she is still getting praise for.

“The response has been so incredible – both from within the disabled community itself and outside it,” she said of the show’s impact.

“The love for our show and the instant way people have connected with it is proof, irrefutable evidence for our screen industry that telling diverse stories works and is worth it, especially when that means investing in diverse talent on and behind the camera.”

This month, the pair travelled to the U.S to meet with production companies, brands, and organisations across LA, D.C., and NYC. Saintilan said a “large chunk” of the organisation’s website audience is based in North America, and so they really want to spread the word of Missing Perspectives and “meet a lot of our amazing partners and reporters in real life.”

“We want to keep the momentum going for our start-up,” she said. “It’s a really exciting time for us.”

Diviney added, “Frank Sinatra once said about New York City, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.”

The pair also co-hosted a panel event with Vital Voices — a think tank founded by former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright. The panel featured Wai Wai Nu, a women’s rights activist and former political prisoner from Myanmar, and Mary Akrami, Director of the Afghan Women Skills Development Centre.

The women discussed the importance of young female civic engagement in domestic and foreign policy — a topic that both Santilan and Diviney are eager to unpack.

“I’m excited to hear all these amazing stories, to learn from the women we’re lucky enough to be speaking to and to understand more about how grassroots advocacy functions in one of the world’s biggest and most influential nations,” Diviney said.

Saintilan believes that now, more than ever, the world needs to hear from young women. “At a time when women’s rights are at risk, never has it been more important to amplify the voices of young women,” she said.

“We’re hoping that this event will allow us to bring young female activists and their stories to the forefront – especially the week of the one-year anniversary of Roe v Wade being overturned.”

As the pair look towards the future, they’re hoping to continue to expand brand partnerships, make real-world social impact and drive change in the news industry.

“The world’s going to be hearing a lot more from Missing Perspectives very soon,” Diviney said. “We have big plans in lots of places.”