for diverse, democratic and accountable media

Lack of diversity harms broadcasting, says NUJ

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Posted by NUJ news release

The NUJ has responded to the news, reported in the Guardian today, that the British public service television broadcaster Channel 4 has an entirely white and predominately male oversight board. Although this is not unique when Channel 4 is compared to other media organisations, it is a stain on the media industry that it remains consistently homogeneous.

Three of 13 board members at Channel 4 will be women and it comprises exclusively of white executives. It is simply not acceptable that Ofcom only proposed one ethnic minority candidate to be considered and that Karen Bradley, the culture secretary and representative of government, went against the government’s own diversity targets for broadcasters.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “As a trade union we are campaigning to achieve a media industry that does not discriminate against people based on their gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality and disability. The appointment of a whites-only board at Channel 4 shows just how far we still have to go in the fight for fairness, equality and diversity.

“There are simply no excuses for this appalling decision. We call on culture and media secretary Karen Bradley to go back to Ofcom and rectify this reckless decision. Public services should reflect the great diversity of our country, and be seen to be doing so. We all know there is no shortage of suitable candidates who could bring that diversity and excel on the Channel 4 board.”  

DATELINE: 30 November, 2016


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