By Wale Azeez
Channel 4 has established a £500,000 researcher recruitment scheme in a bid to increase the number of ethnic minority programme makers.
Five researchers will be assigned to independent production companies in March and another 10 junior researchers will be appointed by June.
In addition, Channel 4 has invited black- and Asian-owned production companies to a briefing and networking day next month to help boost their chances of access to its commissioning departments and inclusion within its programming, both on and off screen.
Channel 4 is also recruiting three trainee commissioning editors from ethnic minority backgrounds on one-year contracts, with a view to hiring annually from next January.
The moves come as the channel revives its Diversity Network database of ethnic minority contacts this month, while it chairs the Cultural Diversity Network (CDN).
Mary FitzPatrick, former BBC and independent producer, has been appointed Channel 4’s first editorial manager in charge of cultural diversity.