Tuesday, 26 August 2008

I've "no chance" of TV career

Apparently I should just give up now. My career in TV kicks off in a few weeks but it was reported today that Jeremy Paxman is far from encouraging people like me to endeavour on my chosen career path: "If any middle-class white male I come across says he wants to enter television, I say 'give up all hope'. They've no chance."

He made his remarks in a recorded interview for the annual television top-bods get-together that is the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

I was shocked to read the story earlier and pondered for a while on whether my experience tallies with his view. It didn't take long to remember that every single person in my postgrad broadcast journalism group at Cardiff University was white, half were men and all appeared distinctly middle-class. And I don't remember there being anyone from an ethnic minority in the magazine and newspaper postgrad groups either - that's 90 young journalists who have just started their career from Cardiff, what some say is the best place in Britain to prepare you for the world of journalism.

Since finishing the Cardiff course in June I have worked in four newsrooms - BBC Oxford, BBC Derby, BBC 3 Counties, and Mix 96. I can count on one hand the number of people from ethnic minorities that work in these newsrooms. Surely Paxman is off the mark, certainly in reference to whites being suppressed.

I start a traineeship at ITV News in October and hope it'll be the start of a long career in TV, radio and online. Paxo thanks but no thanks, I'm ignoring your advice.

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