Radio diversity report launched at Parliament event

A report focussing on diversity and new talent in radio has been launched at an event in Parliament.

The event, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Commercial Radio, showcased the range of initiatives taking place in the radio industry and mark the publication of a new report Tuning in to Diversity prepared by Radiocentre.

The Tuning in to Diversity report highlights the results of commercial radio with diverse audiences and provides examples of work going on to widen the talent pool coming into the radio and audio sector, including the Young ARIAS awards for 8 to 18 years olds.

The report feeds into Ofcom’s survey of diversity in the UK radio industry (expected late July 2019) and includes information from smaller radio stations not captured by Ofcom due to its focus on larger broadcasters.

It features the work by small specialist stations like Panjab Radio, Mi-Soul Radio, London Greek Radio, Sabras Radio and Sunrise Radio in their local community and a snapshot their diversity.

Unsurprisingly, it found that these stations have some of the highest levels of workforce diversity within the industry, with many reporting ethnic diversity well above 90%.

Tuning in to Diversity is available here and highlights commercial radio’s success with diverse audiences, reaching 62% of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) listeners compared to a 44% by BBC services.

The share of listening hours among BAME listeners is also significantly higher than average at 57% for commercial radio, compared to 37% for the BBC.

Siobhan Kenny, CEO, Radiocentre, said: “Commercial radio offers listeners a huge choice of stations and has an incredibly diverse audience. We know we can do more to improve diversity in radio and there are a number of great schemes already working with exciting new talent.

“Some of the smallest radio stations have the most powerful stories to tell on diversity, highlighted in our report Tuning In to Diversity. We know that radio will be even more successful with the broadest appeal possible, doing all it can to nurture future talent.”

Margot James MP, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries said: “Commercial radio plays a crucial role in providing music, news and company for millions of people, from all backgrounds and walks of life. It is no surprise that when a radio station offers a diverse range of presenters, initiatives and music, its audience is also diverse.

“Radiocentre’s new report provides a welcome reminder of the value of celebrating diversity across the industry and the Government is backing a more diverse commercial radio sector through the new Audio Content Fund that will be used to produce distinctive, public service radio programmes.”

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  1. Mark Budgen says

    Ethnic diversity? Meaning no whiteys allowed?

    1. lenroy brown says

      You mean racial prejudice or bias? When I worked in community radio and on the ‘ethnic music gigs’ that I now perform in, a vast majority of the participants are (in your terms) whiteys. I’ve not heard that term whiteys since the TV show ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ I suggest that you join the 21st century Mark Budgen.

  2. Pat says

    Diverse range.I thought things were going in the opposite direction.Huge choice of stations – I haven’t personally seen much from parliament or radiocentre to encourage this-in fact the gobbling-up of small stations by the big companies has taken away my faith in radio in this country along with dumbing down by BBC stations.

    1. mb23 says

      There are 45 national stations on DAB.

  3. Radio Geordie says

    There’s only diversity in radio today largely because of community radio or DAB.
    Without, it would just be the same choice of crap fm services playing the same top 40 songs over and over and over and over and over……….

  4. Mr Boltar says

    Diversity – AKA positive discrimination. It doesn’t matter if someone is crap, they have the right colour skin so they must be hired in preference to somneone else who’s better. And all these right-on worthies talk about diversity, but I wonder how many would be willing to sanction a white music only station? But it seems black or asian music only – no problem.

    1. Lenroy Brown says

      So what is Absolute radio’s playlist and audience then for example? Planet Rock? Absolute Country? I could go on. I don’t agree with positive discrimination, but in some areas of life, there is a discrimination barrier and if your face, beliefs or skin tone don’t fit, you’re not welcome to the club no matter what your qualifications are. So Mr Boltar, how would you solve that equation. Or would you love to keep the status quo?

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