Radio 1 becomes latest BBC station to BAN white job applicants as their Newsbeat trainee post is offered only to people from ‘black, Asian or ethnic minority backgrounds’
- The BBC is facing criticism for recruiting for a trainee post for ‘non-white’ people
- The trainee post is on Newsbeat BBC’s current affairs outlet for 16-25 year olds
- They have previously insisted similar positions are legal under the equality act
The BBC has come under fire for excluding white people from applying to a trainee journalism post.
The job is offered through Creative Access an organisation that aims to get better representation for people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the creative industries.
The traineeship with Newsbeat, the BBC’s current affairs outlet for 16-25 year olds, is touted as ‘the ideal environment for multi-media training that is so rewarding to experience early in a journalism career’ according to the job advert.
However, it is only open people from a black, Asian or non-white ethnic minority background.
The job advert says they are looking for someone who can ‘offer a different perspective on stories that affect the key target audience of 16-25 year-olds’.
The trainee will work on radio broadcasts, and online including the website and on social video.
They will be taught ‘how a busy newsroom operates’ as well as video-editing skills and how to formulate ‘engaging editorial ideas’.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen previously said he was unimpressed by so-called positive discrimination saying: ‘It’s disappointing because all the figures now indicate that those most in need of a leg up and most struggling in our education system are white boys from deprived backgrounds.’
He said: ‘It’s positive discrimination – and I thought that discrimination on the grounds of race, sexuality, or gender was illegal.’
Outrage has ensued on social media after BBC newsbeat shared the job advert.
Journalist Victoria wrote ‘ My nephew would like to apply, he’s fair-skinned though. How should I tell him he doesn’t qualify?
‘Alternatively, does BBC host these schemes acknowledging it recruits according to skin colour, and therefore has to balance its discrimination with non-white training schemes?
Another journalist, Ajit Niranjan added: ‘I think this is a good summary. Most businesses with access schemes are tacitly admitting that – consciously or not – they are biased in their normal application process against eg female/ethnic/working class applicants.
Others went a step further, and accused the BBC of racism and discrimination.
Paul Saltie wrote ‘This is discrimination … BBC double standards, this should not be allowed and I thought racism was a criminal offence. the BBC bang on about equality. Racism is racism no matter what way you dress it up
Another said: ‘Surely by specifically saying ‘non-white’ that is a racist advert?’
However, others defended it.
Matthew Sims wrote: ‘If it can be justified, it’s fine. For example if you’ve got 5 presenters rotating and none of them are white British it would be justifiable to aim to recruit one who is. But that’s not the case. The media is predominantly white, male, middle class, especially in senior roles.’
The BBC attracted criticism in June 2016 after turning down applications for roles because they were white.
It advertised for two junior script writers on 12-month trainee schemes, one of which offered the opportunity to work on hospital drama Holby City in London.
But applicants were outraged when HR bosses replied to applications saying that they were only open to people from ‘ethnic minority backgrounds’.
It later attracted further criticism when it offered 12-month trainee broadcast journalist post that was ‘only open to candidates from a black, Asian or non-white ethnic minority background’ in November last year.
ITV also faced criticism when it advertised an intern position for flagship politics show Peston on Sunday that wasn’t open to white applicants.