Indian-origin newscaster wants blacks, and Asians to head UK TV channels


London, Dec 1

Pitching for diversity among senior-most executives in media houses, Indian-origin newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy has said that it is about time a black or Asian person runs a British television channel.

The Channel 4 news presenter said although Jewish people have been well-represented at the top levels, there are "still no black or Asian people running our biggest broadcasters", the Guardian reported.

At the Channel 4 Inclusion Fest on Wednesday, the journalist rued that there was a monoculture among the power makers behind the scenes.

"We have, I have argued before, already seen what happens when you get a lack of diversity in broadcasting management. It gets judgments wrong or doesn't appear to know how to react," Guru-Murthy was reported as saying by the Guardian.

The longest-serving Channel 4 presenter, who faced racism while growing up in Lancashire in the 1980s, said that one inevitably ends up making wrong decisions due to the absence of diversity of thought at the top level.

"Like any kid who grew up as a minority, even in a relatively well-off, middle-class life, I'd been called racist names, pushed around and picked on by a racist bully, had NF for National Front written on my blazer and school books," Guru-Murthy said at the fest that highlighted the issues of ethnicity, disability and transgender people in the media.

Guru-Murthy's comments came even as Indians have become the largest non-white ethnic group in the UK.

According to the 2021 census, which was released on Tuesday, the number of Persons of Indian Origin in the UK increased to 3.1 per cent of the total population from 2.5 per cent (14.12 lakh) recorded in the 2011 census.

However, Guru-Murthy, who fronts Channel 4 News' podcast 'Ways to Change the World', added that his Asian background helped him early in his career.

Last month, Guru-Murthy was taken off air for a week by Channel 4 for swearing at Conservative MP Steve Baker.

During an off-air moment, he was caught on camera calling the Northern Ireland minister a "c***" outside 10 Downing Street.


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