TV news directors respond to diversity report

The response from various television news directors have been collected on the Media Watch website.

Craig Macpherson, Seven

We are very aware of who our audiences are and the makeup of our workforce. Improving diversity is an ongoing challenge but this report does nothing to help the industry as a whole. It’s an exhaustive deep dive into names on a two week roster with shallow outcomes. It does little in looking at the supply system of prospective employees from all walks of life. There is a scant acknowledgment in the report that Free To Air TV employers simply aren’t hiring culturally diverse employees because they’re not applying.

Darren Wick, Nine

We all acknowledge that diversity in all media/newsrooms – not just television – is a challenge both in Australia and globally. However, I don’t think simply counting surnames on TV is an effective way of addressing the issue or helps in finding practical solutions to these challenges.

This report has clear errors / ignores the significant contribution of someone like Brooke Boney on Today, where she is one of four main hosts on the desk, instead simply listing her daily and regular contribution on the program at somewhere between 0.1 and 0 percent. This is not reflective of the real changes and proactive appointments we have been making in improving diversity in our television business.

Ross Dagan, 10

We are committed to diversity on and off-screen and have a number of initiatives in place to continue and grow diversity representation across our business.

We also believe that diversity goes beyond just ethnicity but also includes a balance of gender, age, geography, economic factors and physical ability.

While we acknowledge that more needs to be done when it comes to diversity, we are working to ensure better representation on and off-screen across these categories.

In the last year alone, we’ve launched three distinct university scholarships that better enable students from diverse or disadvantaged backgrounds to embark on a pathway into our newsrooms.

Jim Carroll, SBS

We’re pleased the report reinforces SBS’s leading role in including and representing the diversity of Australia across our news and current affairs. SBS is unique in the Australian media, reflecting the diversity of Australia through the people presenting and telling stories, as well as through the stories we cover.

National Indigenous Television (NITV) – part of the SBS network – was not included in the report but plays a critical role in ensuring First Nations people are front and centre of coverage exploring issues with an Indigenous lens, and bringing those stories to a wider audience.

Currently, all hosts of SBS and NITV news programs are culturally diverse or Indigenous.

We’re focused on providing news and current affairs that is inclusive of contemporary Australia, that understands and reflects the nuances that make up our nation’s diversity, and in doing so, providing all Australians with distinctive and trusted news and current affairs, in service of our charter.

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