Media professor backs BBC’s diversity quota

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A media diversity professor has welcomed the BBC’s commitment to introducing a compulsory diversity quota for its off-screen programme staff.

Speaking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Marcus Ryder said that black people were not adequately represented in editorial positions within the broadcaster.

“There can be systemic racism in place that stops people from reaching their full potential,” he said, adding: “It is our national broadcaster, we need to be represented.”

The BBC has committed to ensuring that 20 per cent of crew members in network commissions are from diverse backgrounds from April next year.

It has also set aside £100 million to create “diverse and inclusive content”.

The sum, from its existing commissioning budget, will be spent on TV output across all areas, including children’s, education and current affairs, for three years from 2021/22.

The move is part of the broadcaster’s response to Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd.

BBC Director-general Tony Hall, said: “The senseless killing of George Floyd, and what it tells us about the stain of systemic racism, has had a profound impact on all of us.

“It’s made us question ourselves about what more we can do to help tackle racism - and drive inclusion within our organisation and in society as a whole.

“This is our response, it's going to drive change in what we make and who makes it.

“It's a big leap forward - and we'll have more to announce in the coming weeks.”

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