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Why isn’t our press more diverse?

Exclusive report: leading journalists speak up on race and the media.

To co-incide with a special New Statesman survey on race in the British media -- the findings from which are listed below -- we asked leading journalists: why isn't our press more diverse?


First Person

Lionel Barber, editor, Financial Times

Dorothy Byrne, head of news and current affairs, Channel 4

Brian Cathcart, professor of journalism, Kingston University

Simon Kelner, former editor, the Independent

Richard Peppiatt, former reporter, Daily Star

Hannah Pool, freelance journalist

Samir Shah, chief executive, Juniper Communications and former head of current affairs at the BBC

Anwar Tambe, senior producer, Sky News

Peter Wilby, former editor, New Statesman

Gary Younge, columnist, the Guardian


The statistics compiled by the NS show that ethnic minorities are still largely absent from the opinion pages, senior executive roles and staff jobs in the media. The full findings from the survey can be found here, and include:

  • 2 of the 99 named witnesses at the Leveson inquiry into the press are from ethnic minorities
  • 1 of the 100 most important media people in the Guardian's 2011 guide was not white
  • 0 national newspaper editors are non-white
  • 0 national newspaper political editors are non-white

Elsewhere in the package, Rafael Behr reveals the behind the scenes workings of the "hideously white" political lobby and Mehdi Hasan argues that the national newspaper comment pages do not reflect the diversity of 21st-century readers in Britain.