Listening to Where’s the F in News? yesterday I thought it was great that finally we had a bunch of women on a radio show and there was no need for a token man. It was refreshing. But then as I continued to listen, the panel appeared to be all white. This can’t be happening, surely?
I looked over the episodes for this series. The names of everyone who appeared so far were white. The producers couldn’t find any women of colour who can talk eloquently on current affairs? Really BBC Radio 4? I could be wrong, they may have had some in the first two series but unfortunately I couldn’t check as the details were no longer online. But given the first three episodes had none, I’m not holding my breath.
It’s a shame because I have noticed a definite change in the schedules. I have noticed that BBC Radio 4 is trying.
Take Loose Ends for example. Their most recent show had Lucian Msmati and Sharky appearing. In the SAME programme. Radio 4 has also commissioned a second series of Daliso Chaponda: Citizen of Nowhere and a new series with Twayna Mayne: Black Woman. Radio 4 is changing and we see that but it’s a shame when you have instances of no BAME’s on Where’s the F in News? It erodes trust in your BAME audience.
Whether the BBC acknowledges it or not, part of the audience it should be reaching are BAMEs. Many are professionals, middle class and well educated. We also like intelligent radio, so please don’t be lazy, don’t force us to listen elsewhere. Instead surprise us.
You’ve shown us that there is a wealth of BAME talent out there, you’ve given a couple of them new shows! And if you’re really stuck for female voices why not get Shazia Mirza or Gina Yashere on? Both highly experienced and VERY entertaining.