Thursday, 15 March 2007

Private school elite still dominates television

Private school elite still dominates television

JG Says
This is priceless and could explain why this dyslexic product of Harpeneden's own secondary modern is grafting away in New Zealand. Would it be too obvious to point out or ask, just how many of these executives are at the Beeb? Know your audience, hey but I'm not a working class chap with a chip on my shoulder. We need well educated leaders with integrity to run our media concerns, other wise we'd have scandals regarding vote and phone rigging oh..... Seriously all the senior executives I met and worked with were of the greatest caliber and I respected them all enormously. The old school is just that, old and very crusty - and soon all the bright young things with no outlet for their creativity will express them selves on the internet, go for it.

From Media Guardian UK

Katie Allen
Thursday March 15, 2007

School rules: 56 of the top 100 TV executives across main channels went to private school. Photograph: Niki Mareschal/Getty

The majority of senior UK TV jobs are still occupied by a private school elite and potential new starters are discouraged from trying for broadcasting careers by their lack of connections, according to a study out today.
A survey of the top 100 executives in the TV industry across all the main channels showed 56 went to private school, despite the fact such institutions only educate 7% of the population as a whole.

However, the study, commissioned by Television and Young People, the charitable talent arm of the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, did suggest that a new breed of TV industry executives was emerging.

TVYP also surveyed 100 newer entrants to TV, which showed 58% coming from state schools.

Talking to young people who had just got into the TV industry, TVYP found six out of 10 had been concerned they did not have the right contacts, rising to 75% for those from a state school background.

TVYP said such findings reinforced the notion that the current public school dominated industry may be deterring young people from other backgrounds from entering the sector.

"We hope to open up the debate on the importance of creating a diverse, creative TV workforce which reflects and represents the TV audience today," said the TVYP director, Suzy Lambert, adding that her body was working to address young people's concerns with its free training events.

The research echoes a study last year commissioned by TVYP, which found that low starting salaries were a key disincentive for those from low income backgrounds, with the average starting salary in TV just £12,000 per annum.

Last year's survey also revealed that 77% of young people trying to get a foothold in the TV industry had worked without pay for up to three months and 12% had worked for free for over six months.

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I am 51, a father of three beautiful girls, a six year old and twins of three. I live in the wonderful county of Cambridge. And Rebecca has put up with me for seven years now!