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Review Into Portrayal and Representation Across BBC Output Announced

Review Into Portrayal and Representation Across BBC Output Announced

The BBC board has unveiled a review into how accurately and authentically the public broadcaster represents different groups and communities across the U.K. amid its drive for diversity, inclusion and representation beyond the country’s biggest cities.

Chaired and authored by former BAFTA chair Anne Morrison and independent media consultant Chris Banatvala, the review, unveiled on Tuesday, will cover BBC U.K. public service television, radio and online content as well as output from the nations, meaning England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, and English regions. It will encompass a range of genres, including drama, comedy, children’s, entertainment, documentaries and news.

Anne Morrison has previously held a number of senior roles at the BBC and is the former CEO of independent production company Nevision, while Chris Banatvala has wide experience of content regulation, with current roles at Sky News and Channel 4, and previously at Ofcom.

Anne Morrison.

The board-commissioned review will examine relevant BBC content between April 2023 and March 2024. Morrison and Banatvala will engage with a range of external stakeholders, consider audience perspectives based on new and existing research, hear from BBC decision-makers, including commissioners and editors, and take into account relevant audience complaints.  

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The review will assess results from the 2021/2022 census to establish how the “BBC portrayal and representation of the U.K. reflects current reality in terms of the make-up of communities around the country and what the major changes have been over time.”

BBC chairman Samir Shah said: “The BBC must reflect the lives of all classes, communities and cultures across the U.K., and how authentically and fairly it does this can be a significant factor in determining overall perceptions of the BBC. Anne Morrison and Chris Banatvala bring extensive knowledge and understanding of portrayal and representation in broadcasting, so are particularly well placed to identify the strategic challenges the BBC faces delivering on this key priority in its Royal Charter.”

The review will begin in the coming days.

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