The BBC Academy has stepped up the number of forthcoming Expert Voices: BAME Talent days to take in other locations around the UK.
The events, open to men and women and similar in format to the highly acclaimed Expert Women initiatives, will now be held in London (9 October 2014), Birmingham (27 November 2014), Bristol (29 January 2015), Salford (26 February 2015) and Glasgow (12 March 2015). The London event is already open for applications via the BBC Academy website, where there is also information about the application criteria for future events.
The events will be aimed at members of the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnicity) communities who are highly regarded experts in their chosen field – and that field is one which is matched by a broadcast editorial area where there is a need for presenters and experts. Each location has a specific list of specialist subject areas in which experts are sought, and which have been identified by editorial teams in those regions. See below for the complete list.
The events will cover television, radio and news, and as with Expert Women, will include taster familiarisation sessions in studio and interview situations, delivering a piece to camera, masterclasses with key industry figures, advice on how best to navigate the business and a networking lunch where the successful applicants meet senior editors and producers from across the industry.
The application process will be open to men and women from the BAME communities who can demonstrate expertise in their chosen area, which matches an editorial need identified by BBC programme and content areas. They will need to submit a short self-shot film, story idea and their CV, and each event will train between 20 and 30 people.
As part of the recruitment drive, the BBC Academy will be working with Claire Richmond’s Findatvexpert and Simone Pennant’s TV Collective, as additional routes of finding outstanding applicants.
Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, says: “We want to take big steps to increase the diversity of the experts our viewers see on BBC Television. These Expert Voices days are an important part of these efforts and I’m sure they will be as productive as the recent Expert Women events.”
Mary Hockaday, Head of BBC Newsroom, says: “Expert Voices will undoubtedly help to enrich our news content for audiences in the UK and around the world, and it will also help to demystify the process of appearing on radio and TV for the successful applicants.”
Angela Roberts, Managing Editor of the College of Production for the BBC Academy, says: “Many of the women who took part in the Expert Women training days have gone on to considerable success as broadcast presenters and contributors. I’m delighted that we’re now able to offer the same type of training to BAME experts to give them greater opportunities both on and offscreen.”
The BBC Academy created and produced the Expert Women’s Day events, which were held in London, Salford, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast, following research carried out by City University and Broadcast magazine. More than 2,500 women applied overall and the Academy trained 164 women (16.5 per cent BAME) in the quest to help address the poor representation of women as experts on air. To date, there have been 273 media appearances by 71 of the Expert Women, including news bulletins for the BBC (radio and TV), CNN, Channel 4 and other outlets. In addition, a number of the women have secured agents and are in active discussion with programme makers.