BBC white paper preaching to the choir on diversity drive, says producer turned PR

Proposals revealed in a white paper on the future of the BBC today to cement on- and off-screen diversity measures will reinforce the work the BBC already does, according to a former producer who recently set up a PR firm.

(Credit: Yanice Idir/Alamy Stock Photo)
(Credit: Yanice Idir/Alamy Stock Photo)

A former producer and editor of Watchdog, Keir Mackenzie launched Calder PR this month having left the corporation at the end of February.

This morning, it was widely reported that a government white paper on the future of the BBC would be published, suggesting measures including a new board with some government appointments, a role for media regulator Ofcom in complaints handling, publishing details of salaries of more than £450,000, ensuring the BBC reflects audiences with stronger on- and off-screen diversity protocols, and extending the charter tenure to 11 years to avoid it clashing with general elections.

Commenting on these, Mackenzie said: "I think the diversity measures will be popular within the BBC. From my experience it will be building on what is already in place; the BBC did not need to be told."

He also said that diversity was taken seriously within the BBC because everyone's "guiding goal was always serving the audience".

On naming top earners, he said stars would not be put off working for the corporation because they "know they're worth it".

With regards to the lengthier charter, and the cloud that has hung over the BBC as the charter renewal debate has rumbled on, he said: "There's no question that being used as a political football can be an irritation, but from my experience people are too busy making TV programmes to worry about what the Government is saying."

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