New Zealand On Air is considering using its control of taxpayer money to get more women and minorities in top jobs behind the camera. Chief executive Jane Wrightson said: “While we encourage the industry to take the lead in helping redress the gender and ethnicity imbalances, we will also be considering what levers we have as a funding agency.” On Monday, the government agency unveiled its first “Diversity Report” revealing disparities in the number of male and females in key jobs like producer, director and writer. The survey also looked at the proportion of Maori and ethnic minorities in senior jobs.
Wrightson said that while NZ On Air-funded content comprised less than 15 percent of total television production, NZ On Air did not expect commercially funded content to be any better.
The survey found the number of people of Asian background in key surveyed senior roles was one percent when Asians made up 11.6 percent of the population.
“From a story-telling perspective it’s important that TV and digital media production personnel are more reflective of the general population make-up.” Wrightson said. The survey found the number of people of Asian background in the surveyed senior roles, was 1 per cent when Asians made up 11.6 per cent of the population.
[However the Asian communities have their own vibrant broadcasting industry, that does nor rely on taxpayer funding.] In my view, the suggested intervention of New Zealand On Air to use of public money to encourage senior staffing decisions raises issues. about its role. It encourages the idea that money should be allocated on the basis of meeting demographics, initially on race and gender. then potentially expanding further. In my view these are decisions that should be made by programme makers, and without being coaxed by government agencies. According to the survey three percent directors of television documentaries and children programming were neither male nor female.
The full report is available at http://wp.me/p7tyFn-eZ and summarised at the top of the item.