BBC ‘NOWHERE NEAR’ ETHNIC MINORITY TARGETS: Katie Weston (Daily Mail 13/8) reported that June Sarpong, the BBC’s director of creative diversity, was aiming for a BBC mid-level and senior management structure made up of 15 per cent of people from a BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic)background, compared to 12 per cent in the population as a whole. Ms Weston quoted her as saying that the corporation was ‘nowhere near’ hitting its own targets and claimed it would take longer than had been hoped to attain them. Ms Sarpong had said:
‘I think the BBC, like many big media organisations, is diverse at sort of entry level. But certainly not diverse enough in terms of mid-level and senior leadership, not at all. I think anybody would agree and accept that. If you look at the targets that we’ve set ourselves, we’re not hitting them in the way we would like and so there’s a concerted effort being made to try and address that.’
BBC ‘IS ASTRONOMICAL UNITS’ AWAY FROM VALUES OF ITS AUDIENCE: Rod Liddle (£ Spectator 14/8), noting that the BBC had staged a Radio 4 play in which the male lead character of Albert Camus’s The Plague had been transformed into a woman engaged in a lesbian marriage, said that the only reason he now tuned into BBC output was ‘in the expectation that its wokeness will give me a belly laugh’. He added that the distance the corporation travelled each day from the values of its audience ‘would soon be measurable only in astronomical units’. He noted that ‘woke’ values had now affected pronunciation to the extent that Angela Merkel was now delivered in a ‘ludicrous, hyperbolic manner’. He declared:
‘We are British and pronounce things phonetically, the way we see them. It is not a slight to foreigners that we do this; they do the same thing with us. It is especially galling with place names: Catalonia and Andalucia are both articulated by BBC reporters as if they were auditioning for the part of a waiter in Fawlty Towers.’
He concluded: ‘I suspect it is a case of the BBC telling us that the world should not be seen through a British prism – and is allied to the corporation’s far more egregious policy of replacing British-born foreign correspondents with (sometimes unintelligible, often simply not very good) locals. Whatever, it is another milestone on the BBC’s exciting journey away from its audience’.