Graphic Online

Graphic Online 

Outrage as BBC insists internship scheme is opened to non 'whites'

Author: MailOnline
The BBC said the scheme is allowed under the Equality Act and it is 'proud to be taking part'
The BBC said the scheme is allowed under the Equality Act and it is 'proud to be taking part'

The BBC has been criticised for offering an internship scheme on the World Service only to people who are not white.

The 12-month trainee broadcast journalist post is 'only open to candidates from a black, Asian or non-white ethnic minority background', according to the advert.

The opportunity has been billed as one for 'budding news junkies to gain hands on experience at a national and international level with the iconic BBC World Service'.

The BBC has insisted that the scheme, based in London and offering interns the capital's living wage of £10.20 per hour, is allowed under the Equality Act.

But Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen was unimpressed, saying: 'It's disappointing because all the figures now indicate that those most in need of a leg up and most struggling in our education system are white boys from deprived backgrounds.'


He told MailOnline: 'It's positive discrimination – and I thought that discrimination on the grounds of race, sexuality, or gender was illegal.'

Employees will gain on-the-job training while working with the joint domestic and World Service radio newsroom, in collaboration with Radio 4 programmes.

The intention is that successful candidates will be in a position to compete for jobs in the radio newsroom at the end of their role.

The 12-month trainee broadcast journalist post is 'only open to candidates from a black, Asian or non-white ethnic minority background', according to an advert

The successful candidates will spend time on the World Service's Newsroom programme and the World at One and PM Radio 4 programmes.

They will also be involved with the Global News podcast, Radio 4 6pm podcast, and World Service and domestic bulletins and summaries.

Interns will be given help in developing, pitching and producing stories for broadcast and told how to assist the daily news running across platforms.

They will also receive experience in researching contributors, experts, locations and ideas – and learn how to assist each role within the newsroom.

Applicants should have a recognised journalism qualification, strong English, work experience in newspapers or radio, and a good broadcasting voice.

The successful candidates will spend time on the World Service's Newsroom programme

A BBC spokesman told MailOnline: 'The scheme is organised by Creative Access, an independent organisation dedicated to increasing diversity in the creative industries, whose other partners include ITV, United Agents, Faber and Faber, and John Murray. This is not a job, but simply a training and development opportunity.

'This training scheme is designed as a positive action scheme to address an identified under-representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in certain roles.

'Such schemes are allowed under the Equality Act and we're proud to be taking part.'

The BBC attracted criticism in June 2016 after turning down applications for roles because they were white.

It advertised for two junior script writers on 12-month trainee schemes, one of which offered the opportunity to work on hospital drama Holby City in London.

But applicants were outraged when HR bosses replied to applications saying that they were only open to people from 'ethnic minority backgrounds'.