|Carlton’s ITV regions are made up of a diverse population especially London and Central England, which are home to nearly 80 per cent of the ethnic population in the UK. Carlton believes it is important to reflect this multicultural society on screen and in the workplace.This principle also applies to representation of disability. Following the successful launch of the Cultural Diversity Network in 2000, Carlton was also instrumental in getting a similar initiative, the Broadcasters’ Disability Network (BDN), back on the agenda. In 2002 Carlton helped to launch the broadcasters’ Action Plans, as well as our own 4-Point Plan, to improve the portrayal and employment of disabled people in and on television.
Carlton’s Diversity Steering Group, consisting of representatives from senior executives, drives forward diversity initiatives and keeps them under review. The key action points of the group are:
- To increase the presence of ethnic minorities and disabled people on screen and in all areas of the workforce.
- To modernise the casting and portrayal of ethnic minorities and the disabled in mainstream programming.
- To create an online talent database and website.
- To raise the profile of diversity issues.
- To increase the access of services and facilities on and off screen.
To date, ITV has made significant progress in its pursuit to reflect modern Britain through television, and this continues to improve. A commissioning clause system has been introduced across all regional programming, whereby producers must demonstrate how they will reflect diversity in their programmes. A monitoring and portrayal system is also in place to assess the progress of representation of ethnic minorities and the disabled.
In 2003, the European Year of Disabled People, all of Carlton’s ITV regions participated in a disability campaign, CHANGING ATTITUDES, to help raise awareness and understanding of disability issues. Over five-and-a-half hours of original programming across our regions was devoted to combating discrimination and developing viewers’ awareness of many of the issues surrounding disability. Internally, there was awareness training for management and a number of media workshops and work placements were offered to people with disabilities.
Other examples of some of the diversity initiatives held in 2003 were CARLTON’S MULTICULTURAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS, which were established to honour some of the most inspirational talent from Britain’s ethnic communities; the CARLTON SCHOOLS TOUR, which opens up the media as a career choice to pupils from ethnic minorities; and the NUTS+BOLTS EXPERIENCE, a certified training course in performing arts for ethnic minorities students in Wales.
A number of other projects are also supported in Carlton’s ITV regions, either through sponsorship, workshops, training, bursaries or work experience to help improve greater representation both on and off screen.