Is the BBC Asian Network doing enough to feature mixed (i.e. on the basis of ethnicity and/or religion) couples and persons? MixTogether asks the question after Vijay Sharma, head of the BBC Asian Network, rejected the idea for a show (summary here):
“The central plank of their argument- that they do not wish to place Asians into boxes based on ethnicity, religion or language- is nonsense. There is an established precedent for the station to broadcast to specific Asian sub-groups.
Their weekly schedule includes separate shows for Mirpuri, Bengali, Gujurati and Punjabi listeners, along with a two separate Hindi/Urdu shows. There are separate devotional sounds programmes for Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism, plus another mixed devotional sounds programme that includes Christian music. There could easily be a show for mixed families.”
Now, the rejection of the proposal doesn’t prove that there is a problem. After all, plenty of proposals are rejected. But there is a real problem with the lack of similar programming it seems (I don’t listen to the wireless much). Given that the Asian Network is supposed to focus on ‘Asian’ culture, the head of the network can hardly claim that she wants to avoid a “niche programming approach”. It is a niche channel by definition, and given that 10% of all married Asians had a spouse from a different ethnic group, they are hardly a irrelevance.
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Filed in: Media,Moral police