An official release informs that the CDN began in 2000 when all
the major British television broadcasters joined forces to change
the face of television. They work towards fair representation of
Britain's ethnic population on screen and behind the camera.
Dyke had the following remarks to make - "Broadcasters are working
hard to make the industry more diverse and ensure its relevance
to today's audiences. I hope by being Chair of the CDN the BBC can
make a real contribution to this. For example, we have just completed
major research into what ethnic minority audiences want to see on
screen, and how we can better portray different people's lives.
This is just one of the things that will help us chair the CDN in
this next key phase."
The outgoing Chair of CDN and Channel 4 CEO Mark Thompson added,
"There is real commitment to cultural diversity at the most senior
level of all the companies in the CDN. At Channel 4 we have recently
for the first time funded training schemes to encourage ethnic minorities
into the industry in partnership with our key suppliers, and have
funded three ethnic minority trainee deputy commissioning editors.
Changes do not happen overnight, but all the broadcasters have kept
diversity at the top of their agenda and as a body we are moving
in the right direction."
CDN's basic objecftives are:
- Set targets for ethnic minority employment, including senior executive
- Establish an online database of ethnic minority talent - Modernising
the casting and portrayal of ethnic minorities in mainstream programming
- Share non-commercially sensitive research on cultural diversity
- Obtain a comprehensive picture of ethnic minority employment in
- Establish industry standards for the collection of ethnic monitoring
- Sensitise the broadcasters so that they call for diversity in
content and employment
- Raise the profile of multicultural issues through a series of
Carlton's Clive Jones was the brains behind the CDN. In 1995 Carlton
commissioned research showed that it was loosing large chunks of
its Black and Asian audiences to cable and satellite channels. ITC
and BSC research confirmed these findings and added that ethic minorities
found terrestrial TV to be increasingly irrelevant to their lives.