TUV savages BBC for ditching live Twelfth coverage while ‘obsessing over diversity and inclusion’

The TUV has become the first party to issue a statement to the News Letter following the BBC’s decision to axe its live coverage of the event.

By Adam Kula
Friday, 10th June 2022, 12:13 pm
Updated Friday, 10th June 2022, 4:14 pm

The party issued a statement from Ballymena councillor Matthew Armstrong, saying the BBC is “failing in its duty as a public service broadcaster”.

He complained that there are “countless hours of programming which is exclusively of interest to the Nationalist community - with wall to wall coverage of GAA events and Irish language programs broadcast on both radio and TV”, and that there is no suggestion these too are being scaled back.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Snapshot from the BBC's 2021 Twelfth coverage

(The video attached shows a precis of the BBC’s 2021 Twelfth coverage).

Councillor Armstrong said: “The live coverage of the Twelfth is valued and appreciated by many elderly and infirm folk who cannot make it out to their own demonstration. This decision is a slap in the face for them.

“Coming as it does after the BBC’s scandalous decision to avoid covering the largest parade seen in Northern Ireland in at least a decade, and its still unexplained decision to broadcast a tricolour as representative of Northern Ireland during an event to mark HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – something we don’t even know if anyone is being disciplined for this will compound the belief that the BBC is one-sided and incapable of reflecting the reality that the Orange, Unionist and Protestant community exists in Northern Ireland.

“This is particularly galling when one considers how the BBC likes to obsess about diversity and inclusion on its output.

“The reality is that when it comes to many BBC programs the one element of diversity they exclude is the most important – diversity of thought and opinion.”

BBC Studios (the commercial wing of the BBC which produces much of its programmes) has a 2021/24 “inclusion” plan.

It sets employment quota targets for 2023 of at least 50% of workers being women, 20% being ethnic minority, and 12% being “LGBTQ+”.

This is despite only 14% of the UK population being from an ethnic minority, and about 2.7% of the UK population being gay or bisexual.

Tory culture secretary Nadine Dorries has recently said that the BBC needs to look beyond skin colour and gender towards political and cultural diversity instead, saying that the corporation’s managers “all have a certain political bias, they all think the same and talk the same they – and that’s what’s got to be changed”.

More from this reporter: