Reposted from The Guardian
Fewer than one in five presenters at major broadcasters over the age of 50 are women, a new study reveals.
Research compiled from figures taken from the main UK broadcasters found that just 18% of presenters over 50 are women. BBC television and radio, Sky, ITN and Channel 5 combined have just 26 women over 50 working as regular on-air presenters out of a total of 481 presenters.
Overall, women over 50 make up just 5% of on-screen presenters of all ages and both sexes and 7% of the workforce, both on and off screen.
Senior executives at the BBC, ITV, ITN, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky are to meet members of the Older Women's Commission on Thursday to discuss what can be done to end such discrimination.
Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy and the shadow culture secretary, accused the TV industry of ageism and sexism. "It really is a black hole … Broadcasters behave as though the viewing public have to be protected from the sight of an older woman and that's just rude. There is nothing wrong with being an older woman.
"We've got to fight back against this sense that older women are less valuable, whereas men accumulate wisdom, authority and experience as they age."
Harman launched the commission last year to consider the experience of older women with a focus on three main areas: women in the workplace, carers and women in public life.
This latter group is chaired by Miriam O'Reilly, former presenter of the BBC's Countryfile, who won a landmark ageism case against the BBC two years ago.
She told the Guardian: "There is still ageism in TV. We need to get to a position where women are not being shown the door simply because of their age and it is just as unacceptable to drop someone because of age as it is for their ethnicity."
To read the rest of the article, click here.
Over the last week, broadcasters have announced new online strategies that challenge the traditional way in which new series and content are launched and consumed by their viewers. Car Share, a new six part comedy starring Peter Kay will be shown in full on iPlayer before airing on BBC1. This is part of the Beebs 12 month trial to launch up to 40 hours of programming on iPlayer. In addition to this, new ITV2 sitcom Plebs is ITV's first original commission to premiere online ahead of its linear broadcast. People have the opportunity to buy and view the series online for 99p. Now, the advantage of these strategies is that they appeal to audiences who enjoy consuming content in their own time and in bulk instead of waiting for instalments. Another advantage from the broadcaster's point of view is that they are able generate buzz ahead of the linear TX; the content will be typically seen by the online and social media savvy, who are likely to spread the word about the content. It also allows the broadcasters to gauge the general response which might have an impact on their strategy for the programme going forward.
In the build-up to September’s annual showpiece, BUFF Enterprises has announced its’ biggest line-up of film programming in 8 years with the launch of its’ inaugural BUFF Spring Season in conjunction with Genesis, East London’s biggest independently-run cinema . The new season marks the 1st time that audiences will be able to attend box office screenings organised by the British Urban Film Festival which, since 2005, has made all of its’ screenings available – free without charge. The headline movie, on Thursday 2 May, sees the 1st UK showing of ‘It’s a Lot ’, a comedy written, directed by and starring Femi Oyeniran who first came to prominence in ‘Kidulthood’, ‘Adulthood’ and ‘Anuvahood’. All 5 box-office events (from 4 April – 30 May) will be presented by entertainment journalist Akosua Annobil.
The season officially starts on Good Friday with the launch of ‘Film Friday’, in conjunction with the online webcaster Grime Daily. Actor and director Aml Ameen will present 6 weekly film offerings (including the award-winning short ‘Physical Education’ by Rohan Green) which viewers can watch online.
BUFF Spring Season also marks the return of ‘BUFF Presents…’ on 6 April in conjunction with Community Channel. Viewers will be able to watch a weekend of new film programming from the BUFF archive on Sky Digital, Virgin Media and the BBC i-player (the latter, for up to 7 days after broadcast).
Reposted from Broadcast
Simon Cowell’s Syco TV has bypassed the likes of ITV and headed to YouTube to kick off his latest talent quest – which will be co-produced with Maverick Television.
The production company has teamed up with Google’s online video platform to launch channel The You Generation.
It will be co-produced with All3Media-owned indie Maverick, responsible for a series of multiplatform innovations around shows including Embarassing Bodies: Live From The Clinic. The project, which cements Cowell’s admiration for YouTube, will encourage users around the world to upload audition tapes, via video-calling service Skype, showcasing a variety of talents. Specifically, The You Generation is on the hunt for singers, presenters, chefs and make-up artists. It will run for 12 months, encompassing 26 countries and 15 languages.
"The You Generation is the first global audition process, giving people the chance to show off their unique skills and win amazing prizes – simply by uploading a video,” Syco said in a statement.
Maverick’s digtial creative director Dan Jones said: “Maverick are delighted to be the co-production partner for The You Generation, and are hugely excited to be working with Syco Entertainment on something that could be game-changing for YouTube.”
It is not clear whether YouTube is helping fund the channel, but it could signal a sea change in the way Cowell operates.
Reposted from The Guardian
Channel 4 has been rewarded for its acclaimed coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics by being granted the UK television rights to the Rio 2016 Paralympics and the Sochi Winter Paralympics in 2014.
As part of the deal – the first two-Games TV deal agreed by the International Paralympic Committee – Channel 4 has committed to broadcasting more than 45 hours of coverage from the Sochi Games, and 500 hours from Rio.
The IPC president Sir Philip Craven said: "With London 2012, Channel 4 created a blueprint for how a commercial broadcaster can raise the profile of Paralympic sport and its athletes to new levels. They reached record audiences, in particular of young people, identified and developed some fantastic new presenting talent, and played a significant role in delivering seismic shifts in attitudes and perceptions towards people with an impairment in the UK."
Channel 4's audience during the London 2012 Paralympics peaked at 4.2 million for Oscar Pistorius's gold medal in the T44 400m and retained a regular peak-time audience of more than two million.
The popular The Last Leg programme featuring Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker, which also attracted more than one million views for its end-of-Games hour-long special, will return for Rio.
Channel 4 will cover a number of major international para-sport events in the buildup to the Games, including the IPC world athletics championships in Lyon, and the IPC swimming world championships in Montreal.
Huge congrats from SceneTV!
Simone Pennant of The TV Collective on the role diversity has to play in the digital revolution:
Reposted from Broadcast
Britain is leading the way in the digital revolution, according to a recent Ofcom report.
Almost 25% of us use an online catch-up TV service each week and 36% of us are using the internet as a primary source for world news; 38% for national news and 32% for local.
We’re also leading the way with online shopping, spending on average of £1,083 per year, significantly higher than our European counterparts.
With smart TV giving us the freedom to access content as and when it suits, and set to dominate the global domestic market by 2016, the way we access media is changing forever.
The TV industry is facing a new breed of competitors such as SBTV’s Jamal Edwards. Production companies and broadcasters may have the financial resources and clout, but there is a new generation of creatives inspired by neglect and driven by necessity.
It would seem the playing fields have leveled out and anyone with a strong enough idea and a healthy dose of determination could be the next online millionaire.
We should celebrate this – but with caution.
I recently chaired a research group in which people from black and ethnic minority (BAME) backgrounds aired their thoughts on opportunities in digital media.
Most highlighted concerns around high visibility of BAMEs on the software/hardware side of things, but very little visibility around driving content and editorial; a tendency for what little editorial there was on offer to be at entry or ‘junior’ level; and execs mistrusting their capabilities, aligned to a lack of cultural understanding from the mainstream.
Most found the industry like a members-only club, near impossible to infiltrate. No surprises there then; these are the usual frustrations, which have challenged the TV industry for ages.
Five years ago, former Equality and Human Rights Commission chair Trevor Phillips predicted the economic downturn could have an adverse effect on diversity in the media.
Speaking at the 2008 MediaGuardian Ethnic Media Summit, he said: “The first group to potentially feel the impact would be women, as in a downturn they could be viewed as “too expensive, too difficult.”
He went on to say: “History has shown that “belts squeeze disproportionately” in relationship to ethnic minority employees…”
Reposted from RealScreen
BBC3 has announced a raft of upcoming factual programs, including several that are part of a season devoted to mental health.
Mental health-themed programs include OCD Camp, a 2 x 60-minute program from Watershed TV that follows six British teens and young adults living with OCD as they head to the U.S. for a treatment program.
The one-hour special Mental Me, from Pioneer Productions, aims to “explain the science behind the most common mental illnesses that affect young people – why they develop in the first place, what’s going on inside our bodies and what we can do to treat them,” according to the network.
Firecracker Films’ 90-minute special, Minds like Ours, will feature young people with mental disorders including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder turning the cameras on themselves to tell their stories, in their own words.
Inside a Teenage Mental Health Unit, a 3 x 60-minute series from Platform Productions, takes its cameras to McGuinness Unit in Manchester, one of the largest teenage mental health units in Britain, and features the stories of both the patients and the staff.
The one-hour Rachel Bruno: Me and My Dad, produced in-house by BBC Productions, is an authored doc featuring Rachel, daughter of UK boxing legend Frank Bruno. The pugilist was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder, more commonly known as manic depression, and in the film, his daughter speaks with him and with others who suffer from the illness.
The one-hour special Football: Schizophrenia and Me, from Blast Films, tells the story of a football league in which every player has a mental health disorder, and follows a group of key characters over the course of a year.
Channel 4 had its own mental health season last summer.
(London Irish to star Being Human's Sineed Keenan)
Reposted from Channel 4 Press site
Nerys Evans, Deputy Head of Comedy, announces new comedy commission with a new series called London Irish for Channel 4. The 6 x30min series is produced by Company Pictures.
London Irish is about a hard-drinking, hard-living ex-pat community of Northern Irish 20-somethings in London and written by someone who knows all about that, Derry girl Lisa McGee. For these four friends it's not easy navigating their way through London life, particularly when they’re too drunk to know where they’re going, or remember where they’ve been. If there had been a plan, it wouldn't have been this. They have shit jobs, no money, and are surrounded by English people. In fact there's only one thing worse than living in London with the English. And that's living in Ireland with the Irish. That doesn't even bear thinking about.
Join Conor (Kerr Logan), his older sister Bronagh (Sinead Keenan), his best friend Packy (Peter Campion) or Patrick to his mother, and Niamh (Kat Regan) as they leap between drinks and hangovers and begin to realise maybe they are getting too old for this. Maybe they all need to take a long hard look at themselves. And they will… definitely… probably… as soon as they shake this hangover.
(Image from The Guardian)
Reposted from Broadcast Magazine
A further 30 expert women could receive training from the BBC Academy to help address the lack of on-screen female experts highlighted by Broadcast’s campaign. BBC Academy head of public service partnerships Donna Taberer said funding and facilities had been secured to help the hunt for another 30 experts to become specialist media presenters and spokespeople.
The debut event, featuring science, architecture, politics and history experts, was held at the BBC Academy on Friday. A second day of training for the original 30 attendees could also be secured.
The 30 experts were selected from a total of 2000 applications, which were initially whittled down to 450. The 450 will have the opportunity to be included in an online database of female experts being compiled by BBC Academy. The database, which will be made available to the entire industry, will include contact details and video clips.
A BBC Academy YouTube channel is also planned, featuring the 30 female experts who took part in the 18 January training day. The day, which was organised in conjunction with Broadcast and part-funded by Creative Skillset, also saw a range of industry executives attend to offer advice and meet the 30 experts. Taberer said: “We feel hopeful that we will be meeting some of the stars of the future here today.” Specialists in architecture, business, engineering, politics and science were in attendance and described by Taberer as “incredibly distinguished” in their own fields.
Reposted from The Voice
A new database of the UK’s leading arts and entertainment industry professionals has been launched, as a one-stop-shop for entertainment information. The British Black List is an online portal that provides a vast catalogue of film, television, theatre, literature and musical professionals, as well as up-to-date showbiz news.
Created by Akua Gyamfi - as a way to unite the black members of the entertainment industry – the journalist has spent the last two years compiling the vast internet based codex. Unlike most businesses, which are motivated by financial gain, Gyamfi felt compelled to start The British Black List after attending An Audience With The Real McCoy held at the BBC Radio Theatre last year.
The meeting between the Beeb, cast and crew of The Real McCoy and members of the public was to mark the 21st anniversary of the famed black British sketch show. But what struck Gyamfi after the conference was the fact that such a successful show and defining moment in black television history has been almost completely lost.
“I remember going to a talk and seeing some past cast member of The Real McCoy, and they were saying that they struggled to get a repeat show on TV and I remember thinking this is wrong. The programmes that we grew up on aren’t being re-run on TV; our history in the entertainment world is being forgotten,” said the managing director.
Although a 15 year veteran in the media herself, Gyamfi was unaware of the contributions that black people have made over the decades to the entertainment genre.
“After researching this business I found out so much stuff. We have been on TV in the UK for a very long time, but you wouldn’t think it because the information or acknowledgement has not been there. Now the black British industry is growing there is a new surge in talent from all over and there is a new community. We may be behind our American cousins but we are getting there and this need to be represented in some kind of way- and I think that can be done by providing quality information,” explained the editor.