Television

BBC looks to enhance content diversity in the UK with new appointment

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MUMBAI: UK pubcaster BBC's director of television, Jana Bennett, has announced that Mary FitzPatrick is the editorial executive of diversity to oversee the way BBC channels represent the audiences they serve.

Bennett said, "The creation of this important new role reflects our commitment to putting audiences at the heart of what we do at the BBC. To deliver the ambition of Creative Future and meet audiences' expectations in a changing world, we need our programmes to reflect fully and accurately the diversity of the UK population."

FitzPatrick used to be a BBC programme maker. She was most recently Channel 4's editorial manager of cultural diversity.

FitzPatrick will work closely with channel controllers, commissioners, in-house and independent production companies to improve on-screen portrayal and diversity on BBC Television, including offering valuable advice to programme makers during the course of the development and production of programmes. She will take overall responsibility for reviewing and tracking on-screen content including the portrayal of black and minority ethnic and disabled people.

Part of her role will be to ensure that programmes are culturally authentic and accurate, but also challenging and authoritative. She will aim to set up the industry's definitive database for locating diverse on and off-screen talent for use by in-house production and Indies.

Bennett adds "Mary FitzPatrick has a formidable track record in marrying outstanding diverse talent with a range of genres and great productions. This, combined with her fantastic relationship with internal and external producers and PACT, makes her the perfect person to drive this new role. I look forward to welcoming her back to the BBC."

FitzPatrick said, "I see my role as enhancing the BBC's programming by opening it up to diverse talents and voices in a way that will deepen its relationship with all its audiences. The emphasis will not be on quotas or box-ticking, but on focusing minds on the fact that television audiences are hugely diverse and they rightly expect to see themselves and their life experiences reflected on TV."

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