As part of Ofcom’s 2017 charter, the UK media regular has raised their standards on various dealings affecting media output. This involves the high prioritisation of staffing and performance. Following feedback from the public Ofcom have encouraged Broadcasters such as BBC to look into addressing employment of under-represented groups across board.
For the BBC this has been hard-hitting primarily in its leadership cohort. As a result, the BBC from 1st January 2018 will be accountable to Ofcom in answering to their movement towards a representational front. For further consolation the BBC World service and BBC Commercial services, which is the most diverse side of the broadcasting organisation will be exempt from this reporting.
As part of the measures being taken Radio 1 and 2 will be playing various types of genres of music. This is set to enable a platform for emerging UK artists. Additionally, CBBC and CBeebies will have a target to reach from 400 to 100 hours of newly commissioned programmes. However, whether this particular target is to encourage the learning of diversity is debateable. Furthermore, will be the implementation of some productions taking place outside of London.
Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom’s content and media policy director said: “The BBC is the cornerstone of UK broadcasting. But we think it can do more to provide quality, distinctive programmes that reflect the interests and lives of people across the UK.” Undoubtedly, this showcases a clear direction to inclusivity in the leadership of the BBC and for the future all media outlets. Having said that, in agreeing with Bakhurst, BBCs adherence to regulations such as this serves as an example for all media organisations. This means that the future for British media is one with full encouragement of inclusivity and diversity.
These new steps being taken can prove to really exciting or perhaps turn out to be opposite. The BBC further to this will be adopting the Ofcom-approved Commissioning Code of Practice for diversity. This practice will essentially supervise on-screen portrayal and castings.
The BBC spokesperson spoke in response to the targets saying: “These are a tough and challenging set of requirements which rightly demand a distinctive BBC which serves and represents all audiences throughout the whole UK. We will now get on with meeting these requirements and continuing to provide the world-class, creative BBC the public wants.”
Indeed this is a championing success in the world of diversity and progress continues to be made for a fairer and inclusive media sphere.
The full performance statement can be found here.