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Olivia Editoria 1

Our unapologetic and replenishing editorial vision for The D*List

As editor of The D*List, Olivia Shivas has a vision to prioritise disabled people’s voices and share authentic storytelling.

  • Our unapologetic and replenishing editorial vision for The D*List
    Olivia Shivas
  • My first printed newspaper article was about the qualms disabled people face when riding the bus. It was 2014 and I was a university student wrangling interviews out of my friends and pitching them to whoever would listen to me, like most journalism students.

    In 2015, I studied abroad in Finland at the University of Helsinki. I spent 5 months studying foreign reporting, attempting (and failing) to learn Finnish and went on a field trip to Estonia. In Estonia, I wrote about a ‘revolutionary’ cafe which actively
    employed disabled people.

    A few months later, I arrived back home in Aotearoa and wrote a column about how negative stereotypes regarding disability - such as charity, heroism and suffering - in the media are harmful for disabled people.

    Yet, in 2023 we are still reading news articles about the lack of accessible public transport, the unacceptable levels of unemployment among disabled people, and we still read headlines about ‘wheelchair-bound’ folks who are congratulated for completing menial tasks.

    While it’s essential for advocacy journalism to exist and to highlight disability issues in the mainstream media, at The D*List we are beyond ‘raising awareness’ about disability issues.

  • The D*List is an online disability culture magazine for disabled people, by disabled people and our collective voice comes from a place of strength and joy. As editor, my vision is to prioritise disabled people’s voices and share authentic storytelling.

  • Every week, we will publish new content that will surprise you and leave you feeling hopeful, replenished and a bit feisty. Sure there might be some salty takes, but dry, dark humour is often our coping mechanism for systemic barriers surrounding the disabled experience.

    We'll cover culture, society and events through the lens of disabled people's experiences, and when it comes to news, we'll offer deeper context and opinion from writers in our community. We'll be curious about the systems we navigate in a way that only disabled people would have the audacity to question. And you definitely won’t be reading about anyone ‘confined to a wheelchair’ around here.

    We will showcase disabled talent and share stories that resonate with disabled people. It is our hope that in everything we do we build disability pride and community, making the D*List the list you want to be on.

  • At The D*List we are disruptive, driven, daring and proudly disabled. You are welcome here.

  • Disabled: Our audience is disabled people

    Disabled people will come to The D*List thinking ‘omg I didn’t realise that happened to other disabled folks too!’ Our content is for disabled people, by disabled people. While we love all our nondisabled allies and acknowledge they play a key part in the wider disability rights movement, The D*List is here to make disabled people feel seen - so cozy up with a cup of tea and make yourself at home.  

    Diverse: Our voices are intersectional

    Within the disability community, our voices have different tones based on our lived experiences and we share a range of opinions. We welcome disabled people to The D*List who bring an unapologetic and replenishing vibe and energy to the conversation. Our stories are representative of the colour and vibrance in the disability community. 

    DGAF: We are unapologetic

     At The D*List, we don’t take life too seriously. We are disruptive in our approach to storytelling by smashing the usual stereotypes and tropes about life with a disability. The tone of our voice will not be watered down for a nondisabled audience. We don’t apologise for that. What you read on The D*List is full of disability pride and humour. You’ll read about the inside jokes that are usually only shared among our disabled friends. While we want all disabled creators to feel at home, sometimes it might not be the right fit for everyone, and that’s cool.

    Divine: We will be beautiful   

    The D*List website is beautiful and accessible, with bespoke images and graphics, and our voices will be elevated with the same love and careful treatment as any other mainstream media platform, if not more. In the past, opportunities and resources for disabled storytelling have been limited. At the D*List we come with an approach of abundance. We’re going to be experimenting and learning as we go and we’re really keen for you to let us know your thoughts along the way! 

    Dynamic: Come away feeling better than when you arrived

    We want the time you spend on The D*List to give you joy. We want to  make you feel like the glass is half-full. It will inspire you, but not in that inspiration-porn kind of way. And while we won’t be  ignoring important issues for our community, The D*List is not a trauma centre either. We want the community we create online, and in real life, to be a place of optimism, honesty, and nourishment. The D*List will be the list you want to be on.