2019 Volume 69 Issue 10 Pages 100-105
Ade Rawcliffe started her career in a lower position—a runner in a company—just like many rookies in the TV industry in the United Kingdom and later became involved in Channel 4’s Paralympics broadcasts for the London 2012 and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Now she works for ITV, a major commercial station, as the person in charge of promoting diversity in the program production workforce, both on- and off-screen. At the Rio 2016 Paralympics, Ms. Rawcliffe saw firsthand broadcasters around the world working with TV presenters with an impairment. Watching this, she felt that Channel 4’s unprecedented attempt to feature disabled presenters on TV in the 2012 London Paralympics had changed the television of the world. In the U.K., the BBC, a public service broadcaster, and commercial broadcasters cooperate in monitoring the state of diversity in the TV industry. The U.K. society is composed of a wide variety of people in terms of gender, BAME, LGBT, impairments, sexual orientation, etc., which are also changing the composition of TV viewers. Ms. Rawcliffe believes that television is obliged to reflect society as it is and that participation by diverse people enriches the creativity of television. She says the members of TV industry can collaborate in diversification efforts because they are well aware of this role and responsibility of television. The significance of diversity is being shared by broadcasting and other various industries not only in the U.K but also in the rest of the world. She is determined not to make this movement vanished as a fashion of the times. Just as social participation by people with an impairment has come a long way, it takes a long time to make a change. In promoting diversity in the TV industry, Ms. Rawcliffe always comes back to the significance of diversity and explains why it is so imperative to achieve.