Public Service Broadcasting: The challenge of representing ethnic minority audiences

Gurvinder Aujla-Sidhu

Abstract


This paper examines the problems the BBC has in engaging and representing minority audiences. The Director General of the BBC, Tony Hall, has claimed that he wants the future BBC to “represent every family and community in the UK” (June 2014). Not an easy feat when the BBC’s own research indicates that it is failing to attract ethnic minority audiences (BBC Service Review 2012). Critics such as Hall (1990) have suggested the problem is the media construction of “race” as an issue and its definitions. The paper will focus on the BBC Asian Network, a radio station which was almost closed down in 2010, ostensibly because it was the most expensive BBC radio service to operate, and had very low listener figures. Producers and Editors explain the issues they face in attracting and retaining the target audience.

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ISSN 2398-0532