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BBC boss offers to meet black executive after claims he was blocked from job


BBC boss offers to meet black executive after claims he was blocked from job

The BBC director general, Tim Davie, has offered to meet a prominent black media executive who, it is claimed, was blocked from a senior job at the broadcaster after making public interventions on race.

Marcus Ryder said he was approached earlier this year by the BBC to apply for a new role, based in Birmingham, overseeing Radio 1’s Newsbeat bulletins and the news service of the Asian Network.

However, despite making the final round of interviews for the job, Ryder found the BBC ultimately scrapped the entire recruitment process. Instead, the corporation gave the job of overseeing Newsbeat’s move out of London to an internal candidate on a 12-month contract.

“I had no intention of applying,” said Ryder, who is a visiting professor at the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity. “I don’t have that much interest in working for the BBC but they approached me and it’s appealing because I’m very interested in regional diversity and the role of Birmingham.

“I had two rounds of interviews and there was a third round where they asked my views on impartiality and social media. They seemed to be impressed – and I impressed on them the importance of impartiality. Then I didn’t hear anything and weeks went by.”

People with knowledge of the BBC’s recruitment process said that executives were concerned that the government would perceive Ryder’s potential appointment as controversial, especially in the middle of licence fee negotiations. The Daily Mail has previously reported similar claims, but the corporation denies any candidate was “vetoed”.

Ryder, who previously worked for eight years as head of current affairs programming at BBC Scotland, has written at length about increasing diversity in the media. He said he believed strongly in impartiality in a professional setting and had even written internal BBC training manuals on the topic. “In terms of party politics I’ve never said anything that aligns me to a political party.”

He said he had only twice publicly disagreed with the BBC’s editorial lines since leaving the corporation: when Naga Munchetty was reprimanded for reflecting on her views on Donald Trump, and when the corporation broadcast the N-word uncensored on a news report. Both decisions were ultimately overturned by the then director general, Tony Hall.

There is concern among BBC staff about politicisation of hiring processes for key roles, and whether candidates who have taken public stances on topics such as the Black Lives Matter movement or trans rights are be considered impartial in the eyes of the BBC’s managers. The corporation is in the process of hiring a new head of news to oversee all of its output, with a growing perception among staff that Davie would prefer an external candidate.

Other candidates approached for the Newsbeat and Asian Network job included Aaqil Ahmed, who spent two decades at the BBC and rose to become the first Muslim to be head of religion and ethics at the broadcaster. He also failed to make the cut, with the role instead going to the Birmingham-based Danielle Dwyer.

A BBC spokesperson said Davie had not vetoed any particular candidate over their views. “We’d never comment on who did or didn’t apply for a job. After an external search, BBC News decided that as this role was bringing together departments from across the country, we were looking for an internal candidate with an existing understanding of the BBC, so did not take forward any external candidates for this particular post.

“After a separate recruitment process, we appointed an internal candidate on a year’s secondment. This was a BBC News decision. It is wrong to suggest any veto was exercised on any candidate.”

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NSCDC To Deploy 30,000 Officers For 2023 Elections

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has disclosed that it will deploy 30,000 operatives to ensure peace during the upcoming general elections in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Commandant- General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday,

He said the operatives would be deployed nationwide to maintain peace.

He said the NSCDC has perfected plans to deploy all resources needed to provide security during the election.

“The corps is poised fairly, and ready to apply all the arsenals needed to provide security and safety for the elections.

“We have an operations department of over 30,000 personnel but then we will also deploy others when the time comes.

“Normally we have the bulk of our people in operations and those who are in operations partake in election processes,” he said.

Audi said that the corps had also perfected plans to begin seminars and workshops in October to discuss the preparedness of the organization towards the general elections.

“We want to tell our people that if you go and involve yourself by becoming partisan you are on your own.

“There are certain things we have introduced in our Standard Operating Procedure — that once you go partisan and you are caught, you will face sanctions and you are on your own.

“So we are ready to partake in the election like I said because we are apolitical and we are going to provide a level-playing field for all citizens to be involved in the elections and exercise their franchise.”

Audi said that the NSCDC partook in election activities because it’s a member of the Inter-agency, Consultative Committee on Election Security.

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NSIA Not Stakeholder In Nigeria Air- F.G

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has declared that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is not an investor in the Nigeria Air project.

Sirika made the clarification in a statement issued by James Odaudu, his special assistant on public affairs, on Saturday.

The minister had listed NSIA as part of the local investors with stakes in the national carrier.

He said the NSIA is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, adding that the error was made during his media briefing.

“We wish to clarify that the Authority (NSIA) is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, being a government establishment,” Sirika said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the equity ownership structure of Nigeria Air stands as Ethiopian Airlines 49%, Nigerian private investors (SAHCO, MRS and other institutional investors) 46% and the Federal Government 5%.

“The public, especially the business community and the media, should please note”, the statement added.

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Nigerians Not Ripe Enough To Bear Arms- NSCDC

Nigerians are not ripe to be allowed to bear arms.

This is according to the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi who made the observation when he attended the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.

“I strongly disapproved of it. Even now that there is no law in existence, you still have proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the hands of people.

“It has to do with civilisation and education.

“Even in Europe and America where they have that law where virtually everybody once you can drive can have arms, they are trying to control it now because of how some events unfold.

“In the world, especially in Europe and America, somebody will just wake up and just go to a school and open fire on kids. You know that is madness.

“And so for me, I don’t think we are there yet to allow citizens carry arms” , he said.


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