Ethnic minority representation in the BBC

Following is a letter to the editor of the Daily Telegraph:

What should Lenny expect when he claims that “television is still dominated by White faces” (report 13th February)? Barely 8% (1 in 13) of the population is non-White, of whom Black people, though concentrated in parts of London and some other big cities, number around one quarter or about one in 50 of the total British population.

Despite these figures, the BBC has apparently committed itself to having 18% of its staff recruited from the ethnic minorities which, if carried through, would imply severe discrimination against native British people, given the huge competition to get into the media from all sections of the population. It would also contravene the 1975 Race Relations Act, as well as natural justice and the BBC’s public service ethic, on which it depends to justify its Licence fee.

Although Lenny Henry is reported as claiming that “nothing has changed” in 30 years, the effects of BBC policy are clearly visible in national and regional television news reading and reporting, when in any given week minority faces may have up to a quarter of the total exposure.

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