The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Judged by the Colour of their Skin

Posted by rantingkraut on August 14, 2006

The BBC’s recently appointed ‘Diversity Czar’ Mary Fitzpatrick is apparently complaining that there are too many Honkies reporting for the BBC, in particular when reports are sent from Africa. It was vital she claimed ”… that BBC news reflected the audience that it was serving“.

She added: “I would prefer to see somebody who understands that culture, understands what’s going on and can say, ‘Look with me because I am part of this’. It feels more authoritative and more involved.

Now I would have thought that being a good reporter, striving to give an objective account of the facts, would have been desirable –at least when simple reporting rather than commentary and analysis is concerned. So it may just be that ‘being part of this’ and being involved doesn’t always help.

Yet even if one believes that cultural insider trading is as important as Ms Fitzpatrick claims, the argument remains muddled. Remember that Ms. Fitzpatrick wants the BBC to be demographically representative of its target audience. She also wants it to be representative of the region that is being reported from –in particular if that region is Africa.

In good logic, she can therefore only want one of two things: either she wants the BBC to concentrate on an African audience or she should want it to stop reporting from Africa. There is simply no other way to square this circle, unless the UK’s ethnic make up becomes a lot more like Africa’s.

We should congratulate the BBC for one thing though: Czar is just about the right job title for Ms Fitzpatrick’s position and attitude: if history is anything to go by, the Czar is an arrogant dictator whose head will eventually roll.


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