We want to take big steps to increase the diversity of the experts our viewers see on BBC Television. These Expert Voices days are an important part of these efforts and I’m sure they will be as productive as the recent Expert Women events.Danny Cohen, Director, BBC Television
Date: 23.07.2014 Last updated: 23.07.2014 at 10.38
The BBC Academy has today announced that it has stepped up the number of forthcoming Expert Voices: BAME Talent days to take in other locations around the UK.
The events, open to men and women and similar in format to the highly acclaimed Expert Women initiatives, will now be held in London (9 October 2014), Birmingham (27 November 2014), Bristol (29 January 2015), Salford (26 February 2015) and Glasgow (12 March 2015). The London event is already open for applications via the BBC Academy website, where there is also information about the application criteria for future events.
The events will be aimed at members of the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnicity) communities who are highly regarded experts in their chosen field – and that field is one which is matched by a broadcast editorial area where there is a need for presenters and experts. Each location has a specific list of specialist subject areas in which experts are sought, and which have been identified by editorial teams in those regions. See below for the complete list.
The events will cover television, radio and news, and as with Expert Women, will include taster familiarisation sessions in studio and interview situations, delivering a piece to camera, masterclasses with key industry figures, advice on how best to navigate the business and a networking lunch where the successful applicants meet senior editors and producers from across the industry.
The application process will be open to men and women from the BAME communities who can demonstrate expertise in their chosen area, which matches an editorial need identified by BBC programme and content areas. They will need to submit a short self-shot film, story idea and their CV, and each event will train between 20 and 30 people.
As part of the recruitment drive, the BBC Academy will be working with Claire Richmond’s Findatvexpert and Simone Pennant’s TV Collective, as additional routes of finding outstanding applicants.
Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, says: "We want to take big steps to increase the diversity of the experts our viewers see on BBC Television. These Expert Voices days are an important part of these efforts and I’m sure they will be as productive as the recent Expert Women events."
Mary Hockaday, Head of BBC Newsroom, says: "Expert Voices will undoubtedly help to enrich our news content for audiences in the UK and around the world, and it will also help to demystify the process of appearing on radio and TV for the successful applicants."
Angela Roberts, Managing Editor of the College of Production for the BBC Academy, says: "Many of the women who took part in the Expert Women training days have gone on to considerable success as broadcast presenters and contributors. I’m delighted that we’re now able to offer the same type of training to BAME experts to give them greater opportunities both on and offscreen."
The BBC Academy created and produced the Expert Women’s Day events, which were held in London, Salford, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast, following research carried out by City University and Broadcast magazine. More than 2,500 women applied overall and the Academy trained 164 women (16.5 per cent BAME) in the quest to help address the poor representation of women as experts on air. To date, there have been 273 media appearances by 71 of the Expert Women, including news bulletins for the BBC (radio and TV), CNN, Channel 4 and other outlets. In addition, a number of the women have secured agents and are in active discussion with programme makers.
Additional quotes re Expert Voices: BAME Talent
Simone Pennant, The TV Collective
“This is much more than another training initiative; this is a real opportunity to equip expert professionals within their respected fields with the tools needed to contribute to TV and radio programmes. It is the industry that is investing in developing this talent, so it would be crazy if broadcasters then choose not to utilise them. We are confident our involvement will not only help find some outstanding talent but also ensure they become regular contributors on our screens.”
Dr Solava Ibrahim, delegate on Expert Women last year
“As a Muslim British woman of Arab origin, I am extremely proud that the BBC is launching its BAME Expert Voices campaign. This is a great opportunity for ethnic minorities to not only be present in the media, but to also be able to express their voices and be heard. Expert Women was a starting point for my media engagement. I did have a voice, but the programme helped me learn how to be heard and how to make my voice count.”
Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, presenter, Sky At Night
“We need to encourage all kids and instil in them what I call the 'Desire to Aspire' and not just to the usual jobs but a broad range. The difficulty with this is that if they don’t feel represented in various fields they are unlikely to even contemplate jobs in those areas. Getting a wide range of experts speaking with passion about subjects they love can break down barriers and show that there is no typical job for certain types but that everything should be open to everyone.”
Expert Voices - specialist subject areas by region
LONDON: Thursday 9 October - Cultural Commentary, History, Science, Health and medicine, Finance and statistics, Food and nutrition - Applications now open
BIRMINGHAM: Thursday 27 November 2014 - Health and medicine, Rural affairs, Science, Business and economics, Consumer finance, Community matters - Applications open on 1 September 2014.
BRISTOL: Thursday 29 January 2015 - Antiques/fine art, Gardening and horticulture, Rural affairs, Conservation and environment, Natural history, Food - Applications open on 26 October 2014.
SALFORD: Thursday 26 February 2015 - History, Science / health, Sport, Business and economics, Consumer finance, Art - Applications open on 1 December 2014.
GLASGOW: Thursday 12 March 2015 - Subject areas to be announced - Applications open on 5 January 2015.