Head of Bectu Philippa Childs: ‘The BBC has got it wrong’ – response to Naga Munchetty reprimand for ‘speaking out on racism’

27 September 2019

Today Bectu has written to Tony Hall raising concerns about the findings of the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit in relation to the complaint about Naga Manchetty’s comments on racism.

Speaking on the ruling, Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said the BBC had ‘got it wrong’ and that the findings ‘do not foster a feeling of inclusion when it appears that a journalist has been disciplined for speaking out about racism.’

In the letter Childs also asked Tony Hall to ‘give serious consideration’ to concerns raised by those critical friends of the BBC about the decision, a decision which she believes is so nuanced that it is unconvincing and crucially misses the bigger picture.

She continued: “My main concern however is the impact that this has had and will continue to have on our members working in the BBC and the ability of the organisation to recruit BAME talent in future. Members tell us that they feel anxious and dismayed by this ruling; it does not foster a feeling of inclusion when it appears that a journalist has been disciplined for speaking out about racism.”

Childs also highlighted further findings in the 2019 BBC Annual Report that revealed the BBC is still not doing enough to improve the diversity within its management structures.

Childs concluded that she hoped Hall would agree to discuss with the BBC trade unions what more the BBC can do to improve BAME representation at all levels. She went on to say that BECTU hoped the Corporation would give serious consideration to the concerns highlighted by this case and the sensible suggestions that have been made to improve things for the future.

ENDS

For more information please email kdavies@bectu.org.uk or call 07535135663