Asians adequately represented on British TV: study
It found that Asians and Afro-Caribbeans account for 8.8% of people appearing on TV channels. Their proportion in the British population is 7.8%.india Updated: Nov 14, 2005 16:06 IST
People of Asian and Afro-Caribbean origin are marginally over-represented on prime-time television in Britain, a new study reveals.
It found that Asians and Afro-Caribbeans account for 8.8 per cent of people appearing on the major TV channels during peak hours. Their proportion in the British population is 7.8 per cent.
The study found that non-whites make up an even higher proportion in sports and light entertainment shows, but were under-represented in comedies and fictional shows such as soap operas.
Researchers reviewed programmes from 5.30 pm to 11.30 pm on BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel Four, Five and Sky One for two periods of seven days during July and September.
In news and factual programmes, Asians and Afro-Caribbeans made up 7.8 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively of people with an identifiable appearance on screen, roughly in line with their mix in the population.
In sports and light entertainment the figures were 18.8 per cent and 12.7 per cent, respectively, hiking up the overall average.
But in areas such as children's programmes (7 per cent), comedy (7.1 per cent) and soaps (6.6 per cent), minorities were under-represented.
The research was carried out for the Cultural Diversity Network, an organisation promoting diversity in the broadcasting industry. Its chairman Simon Shaps, who is also the director of television at ITV, said the findings showed the industry was "making real progress", but it still had work to do.
"People want to watch TV that they feel represents them and their lives," he told the Daily Mail.
"There is a strong imperative for us to ensure TV reflects the real ethnic and regional diversity of the UK," he added.