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What’s stopping more diversity on the airwaves?
42
Across different areas of television and radio, programme-makers felt that the
number of people they could take their ideas to was very limited.
It is weird because we only have three people who commission radio
drama and they are all quite similar, they are all of a similar sort of
age and cultural background and work background and they are the
ones who decide on everything that goes out, three people. - Radio
producer
Independent producers also identified the lack of diversity in the output of ITV
and Five, and the withdrawal of ITV from its traditional regional bases, as being a
barrier to a greater market for programmes which come from different
perspectives.
? Commissioning is subjective
This is an industry which, unlike other industries, we don’t produce
something objective that you can say that this rivet is better than
that rivet, this car is better than that car, we don’t do that. We work
on subjective lines about subjective things. Who is to say that that
idea is a better idea than that idea, it is a subjective thing. It is an
exercise in discrimination and in taste and it is something that is
very difficult to hold somebody accountable for. At the moment the
people who exercise that discrimination, that taste, that selection,
that editorialisation are from a particular narrow cross section of
British society, one which does not represent that society as a
whole. - Producer
? Commissioners’ narrow outlook is a bar to diversity 
At the moment you have a mono-cultural view of the world going
on. It is a White, middle-class, middle England, mostly male, but not
exclusively so, view of the world that is deciding what programmes
are getting made. That is not to say that the working class cannot
get on, but it is these people’s takes on the working class that get
on. It is not to say that Black or Asian programmes can’t get made,
but it is these people’s takes on Black and Asian-ness. - Producer
? Commissioners don’t understand ideas coming from different places
As soon as you start coming with ideas which are culturally specific
you can see from the reaction a lack of interest, a lack of
comprehension, all very nice but haven’t got a clue what to do with
it. You know that you are kind of pushing against a wall as opposed
to having a door which is very receptive to ideas. So in a sense have
to leave your ethnicity behind. The system likes you to just become
a clone. - Producer
We had this programme idea that everyone supported but there was
no-one who could exec. I think because it was basically a cultural
programme and they didn’t know the culture. We were pitching a
programme about disability culture and no-one understood that. I
think there are people who are willing to understand it and I have
met a lot of those but just when we needed one there wasn’t an
exec who did that. - Assistant producer
Only what they have experienced counts! They’re playing God –
they’re creating our culture in their own image and they’re not
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