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28th January, 2020

LJMU joins BBC scheme to boost female representation in the media

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Liverpool John Moores has teamed up with the BBC to improve gender representation in UK broadcasting.

The BBC’s 50:50 Project aims to ensure an even number of women and men are contributors to articles and features on the web, radio and TV news.

And LJMU’s Screen School, which runs courses in journalism, has followed suit committing all new students to the same principles of gender balance in their reporting.

Lecturer Polly Sharpe said:

“Working as a partner on the BBC’s 50:50 Project is a fantastic opportunity, both for us as an institution and more importantly for our students.

“It is already encouraging them to think about who they are approaching and the importance of diversity in their work.

“We hope they are developing skills which will stay with them for the rest of their journalistic career – ultimately fulfilling the 50:50 ambition in their profession. We are genuinely excited to be involved.”

BBC group managing director Bob Shennan said the representation of women at the BBC had already “radically increased” and that he was “extremely proud” the project was having an impact elsewhere.

“By helping to embed the 50:50 process in the way journalism students work today, we hope those same future editorial leaders will take these values into their first newsroom roles and beyond.”

Third-year Journalism student, Grace Plowman said,

“I think it’s a great idea for the university to make sure their students are interviewing both men and women equally. I’m in my third year, and thinking back through the stories I have produced I can only think of a handful of women I have interviewed.”

LJMU is one of the first to sign up to the scheme, which includes two journalism training centres in Scotland and four others in England.


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