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Why has progress on diversity been so slow?
15
The fact of being located in Human Resources, rather than programme
production, was seen as a major handicap with diversity specialists often lacking
the necessary editorial experience to be able to be able to influence programme-
makers’ behaviour (Channel 4 has tried to address this by appointing a cultural
diversity manager who is part of the commissioning team.)
Individuals not infrastructure
Looking back, it seems that many of the successes of the past have often been
due to the personal commitment of individuals rather than any infrastructural
changes. The broadcasting organisations have not learned from their experience,
so once those individuals left or changed roles there was no-one to keep up the
momentum. Several examples were cited of “White knights” who took it upon
themselves to give different voices an opportunity to be heard.
I don’t know if I would have got in if I hadn’t had a helping hand
from that guy who told me to apply for the correspondent post and
who ended up being my first boss. I doubt I would have got my first
few jobs without him really; he had an eye on equal opportunities
and what he wanted to happen. He was White but he understood
and he was political enough to ring The Weekly Journal and The
Voice saying Have you got a good journalist? But that was his own
initiative, and he coached me in his own home before I applied for
the correspondent’s job about what to say on the application form.
So there was a commitment from one individual but I didn’t meet
that sort of commitment often. - TV producer
No motivation for change from those in power
Examine yourselves vis à vis the mission statements and the
principles by which you claim to exist, starting with this notion of
inclusivity. Certainly a lot of people are scared if they allow
integrated casting, quotas or diversity to get too far they’ll lose their
jobs. Some of them will have to. -  Director
There was a view that those who have the power to change things are not people
who are suffering any disadvantage under the present system, so do not feel any
urgency to change it. If overall audience figures are doing well and programmes
are winning awards, lack of cultural diversity in output is not seen as a pressing
personal concern. There is no penalty, no consequence for failure to address the
issue. Nobody loses their job or gets their salary docked for ignoring whole
sections of the audience. Several people criticised the BBC Governors for not
taking a more active role in holding BBC Management to account. There was also
frequent mention of the lack of diversity at the senior level of every single public
service broadcasting organisation in Britain. This was seen as a major part of the
problem: issues of diversity were simply not on the personal radar of most
people in power.
They’re just talking to other people like themselves all the time.
Diversity isn’t part of their day to day normality so it’s too easy to
forget about it, however well-meaning they might be. - 
Independent producer
Colour by Numbers
http://www.purepage.com