TV programmes to be monitored for diversity under new initiative

TV programmes across the media industry will be monitored for diversity, under a new initiative launched today.

Image via Shutterstock
Image via Shutterstock

The BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky have all pledged to help increase the diversity of those working on and off screen in the British television industry, through the Diamond project.

Diamond, the brainchild of the Creative Diversity Network (CDN), is a new diversity monitoring system that will measure the level of diverse people working on a programme, both on and off screen. It will also measure how an audience might ‘perceive’ the diversity of characters and contributors on-screen.

Diamond will monitor these by asking every individual working on or off screen on all UK-originated productions for the participating broadcasters their gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity. The system will be entirely confidential and encrypted.

Amanda Ariss, Executive Director of the Creative Diversity Network said, “Despite the efforts already being made, the UK’s broadcast industry still does not reflect the diversity of the UK and as a result we are missing out on a brilliant creative talent.”

“By establishing an accurate picture of diversity in the industry, Diamond will help broadcasters and producers better focus their efforts and resources to achieve the results we all want to see.”

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said, “This Government is committed to improving equality and tackling inequality. Whilst BAME representation in the UK’s creative industries is increasing twice as fast as the rest of the UK workplace, we want to see greater social mobility and diversity across this and across the arts sector.”

“The launch of project Diamond is a clear example of how the UK’s broadcasting industry is leading the way. Together with industry we want to see diversity continuing to improve both on and off screen, and this world-first initiative is a step forward to achieving that.”

The Creative Diversity Network (CDN) exists to inspire, encourage and support the UK television industry to expand diversity and inclusion. It is a UK television industry body, largely paid for by its members who include BAFTA, BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5/Viacom, Creative Skillset, Pact, ITN, ITV, Media Trust, S4C, Sky and Turner Broadcasting.

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Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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