diversity

Beyond Tokenism – Cardiff

Creative Diversity Network and RTS Wales are inviting the Welsh unscripted production community to take part in an in-depth conversation about diversity and representation on-screen. 

Areas for consideration include casting diverse contributors (with a particular focus on disabled and BAME contributors), appropriate use of language and reflecting the whole of Wales.

This is an opportunity for everyone to share their own experiences and open up the discussion on the challenges and choices around representation.

Broadcast Hotshots shine at RTS Futures event

RTS Futures and Broadcast Magazine BAME Hotshots Christmas Party at the Hospital Club

RTS Futures turned the spotlight on TV’s diversity – or lack of it – at its final event of the year where a panel of young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) talent revealed their struggles and triumphs in the industry.
 
The panel was drawn from Broadcast’s 26 BAME Hot Shots of 2015, which the magazine announced in August.
 

Signpost Productions are breaking down barriers

Signing ITV News (Credit: ITV)

At a time when ­producers and broadcasters are working hard to ensure diversity in their workforce as well as on screen, the team at Signpost Productions in the North East of England can claim to be ahead of the curve. Eleven of the company’s 23 full-time staff are deaf or have another disability – physical, chronic or hidden. Between them, they produce more than 1,000 hours of signed British Sign Language (BSL) translations a year for programming on three major broadcasters, including ITV.

Channel 4 commissions Troy Deeney – Where’s My History?

Troy Deeney (Credit: Channel 4)

Troy Deeney – Where’s My History? will follow Deeney during his high-profile campaign to make it mandatory to teach the history of black, Asian and minority ethnic experiences in the school curriculum.

A YouGov survey of 1000 primary and secondary school teachers discovered that only 12% of teachers feel confident and empowered to teach ‘optional’ black related topics. 

Deeney’s frustration with the lack of diversity in what students are taught in schools led to him writing an open letter to Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education.

Melanie Dawes: Ofcom’s diversity champion

All eyes will be on ­Melanie Dawes when she speaks at the RTS Cambridge Convention in mid-September. The CEO of Ofcom for the past tumultuous 18 months was pre­ceded by the charismatic Sharon White – a star attraction at the conference whenever she spoke.

“Melanie Dawes is the most experienced and impressive Chief Executive that Ofcom has had,” opines an industry insider. And this will be the first opportunity most of her audience has had to hear her in person, thanks to the pandemic.

UKTV announces diverse anthology series and new writers’ initiative for underrepresented talent

Anthology series 

The four-part anthology series will see UKTV team up with TriForce Creative Network, an organisation that works to remove obstacles stopping diverse and emerging talent from progressing in the industry. 

The multi-step process will use TriForce’s WriterSlam platform, which is known for discovering writers from all backgrounds, and ask for writing scripts across a range of topics and genres. 

Narinder Minhas reviews Access All Areas: The Diversity Manifesto for TV and Beyond by Lenny Henry and Marcus Ryder

Oh, noooo. The D word. Surely not Donald? No, not that D word – the other one. The one that makes your heart sink a little, too. The one that reminds you of years of struggle. The one that tells of endless meetings with fellow campaigners in drab rooms, banging heads against brick walls.

Defining diversity: More than a numbers game

ITV press advert published on 19 September (Credit: ITV)

If you thought that defining diversity was easy, think again. As the chair of a stimulating and thought-provoking RTS event, Aaqil Ahmed, formerly the head of religion and ethics at the BBC, concluded: “Diversity in itself is diverse. For me, that understanding of it isn’t there for a lot of people.… It’s not a numbers game… diversity is very complicated.”

Throughout the “Defining diversity? That’s easy” session, attempts to provide a definition that all the panel could agree on proved elusive.