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Tuesday 2 June 2020

Times Radio - Diversity Inaction

Those with long memories may recall that, in the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence murder, the Daily Mail had a black reporter. Diversity had even then begun to enhance the ranks of our free and fearless press. Papers began, slowly but surely, to more resemble the real world. But the media establishment’s view of that world is always going to be that little bit different to reality. Cos they’re media people. And they’re special.
That memory came to the fore this morning after the line-up for the Murdoch mafiosi’s latest broadcast venture was announced. Times Radio will commence broadcasting at the end of this month, and its first line-up has now been announced, including what looks like a makeshift breakfast show roster. Perhaps the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker are still chasing one more big name hire as they wave their wallets around.
Jim Waterson at the Guardian told “Times Radio, the new Murdoch-backed ad-free talk station that may or may not be a rival to Radio 4, has a confirmed launch date of 29 June. Here’s the full schedule”. So who’s on offer? Stig Abell? Gloria de Piero? Occasional visits by the non-bullying Tom Newton Dunn? Giles Coren? The kinds of names that media folk think excite the target audience. But those media folk may be disappointed.
Perhaps the official Times Radio Twitter feed will provide more of a stimulus to tune in. “Times Radio will launch at 6am on Monday 29 June and our presenters include Mariella Frostrup, Giles Coren and Hugo Rifkind. Amber Rudd and her daughter Flora will also present specially commissioned shows”. Amber Rudd and her daughter Flora Gill? Ah, but in these straitened times, there is still room for a little media nepotism.
Tara Jane O’Reilly took a sceptical view of the new line-up. “You do not get more diverse exciting journalism than a former home secretary and her daughter presenting a show now do ya? Clap clap”. And addressing the former Home Secretary more specifically, “Maybe we can start with your Windrush deportations ey Amber”. OUCH!
She was not the only one mentioning the D-Word, as in Diversity. Kevin Garside took one look at the promotional photo mash-up and mused “good people, fine gender balance, diversity free zone. #BlackLivesMatter”. Was it that bad a line-up?
Surely not, I mean, there’s … oh hang on, that’s Gloria de Piero with a tan. But there is alleged Labour supporting Ayesha Hazarika. And that, in the line-up that has been put out there, is that. Were one to be less than totally kind to the Murdoch goons, one might dismiss Ms Hazarika’s presence as tokenism - as well as knowing that she had been a constant critic of the party of late. It’s not as if there are few BAME journalists out there.
And that’s the problem with the Murdoch empire: mainly white, with occasional tokenism (think Juan Williams at Fox News Channel). A line up by the media establishment, of the media establishment, for the media establishment. And not for We The People.

Then when it goes nowhere, it will be someone else’s fault. No change there, then.
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James said...

Its interesting to note that Amber Rudd, her of the Windrush generation scandal is going to appear on a Radio station with the likes of Giles Coren and Ayesha Hazarka...both persons who are keen to shout out about Labour's antisemitism "crisis". The latter, when Jess Phillips failed in the labour leadership bid, happily claimed it was to do with antisemitism. Wonder what they think about Mrs Rudd given her legacy or are they strangely quiet...

Stephen said...

Isn't every radio show, on every station, "Specially commissioned"? Or are some done by a bloke who snuck into the studio while the doorman was having a fag break?

Anonymous said...

Ranting right wing RADIO TIMES or Times Radio or whatever it is hopefully not available near me.

Anonymous said...

Can we just call it 'Radio Rupert' instead?

Anonymous said...

Murdoch Slimes Radio?

I'll give that a miss.

So will many millions more.