The editor of left-wing blog The Canary was booed on BBC’s Question Time last night by a group of white men after calling out the lack of diversity in the mainstream media.
Speaking on the show in Hastings last night, Kerry-Anne Mendoza described the lack of diversity in the UK’s biggest newsrooms as “painful” and “pitiful”.
“You have a lack of diversity in terms of ownership - 80% of our media is owned by six corporations. That’s unacceptable,” Mendoza argued.
“But that lack of diversity then permeates into the newsrooms. The whole path into journalism these days is that you go to a handful of universities, maybe six, and then you do an unpaid internship, probably in London.”
She continued: “There was a study that came out yesterday - 51% of our journalists were publicly school educated, compared to 7% of the population at large.
“So what you end up with is mostly white, mostly male, mostly middle class media based mostly in London.”
Although the editor’s argument received some applause, it was met with mostly boos and jeers.
But when the camera panned to the audience, it was revealed that many of those booing the journalist were white men.
One audience member was also seen mouthing “rubbish” as Mendoza continued her argument.
“This isn’t about people being evil or being cruel, it’s just simply that it shouldn’t be a controversial point to say that the newsrooms of the British media should look and sound like the modern Britain in which they sit,” she added.
Question Time viewers were quick to point out the irony of the audience’s reaction:
But LBC present Nick Ferrari, who also writes a column in the Sunday Express, defended those working at mainstream newspapers.
“It will be an unpalatable fact for you, but the fact is that the people who were involved in the brutal, racist killing of Steven Lawrence would not be behind bars without the power of the Daily Mail, and that’s a fact,” he said.
“The editor took a great risk and could have gone to jail for that.”