Thursday, October 20, 2016

Prima facie

This week, the BBC issued new guidelines on diversity and inclusion to be used in commissioning content. The various websites providing contact information and "who to pitch to" stuff for tv, radio and online have been updated, with the most change in Television, where some new names appear as Mark Linsey takes the brave and foolhardy off to cover in commercial woad at BBC Studios.

The sad fact, on the diversity front, is that of all the friendly faces staring out from these websites, of commissioners great and good, big and small, only Bal Samra in TV and Mohit Bakaya in Radio 4, could be easily identified as having a BAME background. If there is wider diversity in the commissioning teams, there's not much photographic evidence - and this despite the fact that the groups include The Asian Network, World Service and Radio 1Xtra.

Project Diamond, the diversity initiative formally launched in August, focuses on tv production, not commissioning. Maybe its focus should be widened.

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