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16/02/2004

Bafta showcase for increasing ethnic minority media talent

Winners from the Skillset Millennium Awards, designed to improve diversity in the media, showcased their talents to an audience of high profile industry figures at Bafta last week.
The showcase was held as new research reveals that ethnic minority representation is on the increase in television and radio.
Skillset’s 2003 Employment Census, the full results of which will be published in March 2004, found that representation within Broadcast Television is now 8.4% and 8.8% in Broadcast Radio. This equates to a 2.1% increase in television and 1.9% in radio over the last three years.
The Awards offer talented ethnic individuals a grant to complete a film, radio, website or print media project beneficial to their communities. Winners also receive up to £10,000 worth of BBC training giving them the technical skills and knowledge needed to complete their projects and to progress a career in media.
Clive Jones, Head of ITV News and Chair of Skillset said: “Whilst it’s positive that numbers are going up, representation is still far below what it should be. Not only do ethnic minorities make up 40% of the working population in London, where the majority of the media industries are concentrated, they also make up a significant percentage of our audience. To remain commercially successful our output must reflect and be relevant to that audience and that means more people from diverse communities working in the industry. The Skillset Millennium Awards is helping to achieve that. The winners are very impressive and I look forward to seeing their talents and careers grow and make an impact on the industry.”
Among the projects showcased were: ‘To Be Like The Stars’, a film exploring relationships between teenagers from different social and religious backgrounds in Manchester; ‘Football Gateway’, a website encouraging more Asians to play football and eradicate racism from the game; and ‘More than Chinese Whispers’, a radio project to teach a wider audience about Chinese culture and keep its customs alive. Award winner Kuldip Singh showcased his radio project ‘Destination UK’, chronicling the struggles faced by immigrants and the positive contributions many have made to British culture and society.
Managed by Skillset and funded by lottery money through the Millennium Commission, the Awards have benefited 120 individuals over three years.
(SP)
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