BBC Northern Ireland joins bid to bring more expert women on air
Smartphones at the ready: applicants for autumn training day must make short film
The BBC Academy – the broadcaster’s training centre – and BBC Northern Ireland are co-hosting a “free introduction to the world of broadcasting” to help recognised female experts feel comfortable appearing on television, radio and online as either contributors or presenters.
The event, which follows similar initiatives in London and Salford, will be held on Wednesday, September 18th, at BBC Northern Ireland’s premises in Blackstaff House in Belfast.
The BBC says it is looking for female experts in specialist areas within fields such as political and social analysis; history, including the recent history of Northern Ireland; business and entrepreneurship; law and ethics; environment and the natural world; medicine; science, and money matters.
A maximum of 30 delegates will be selected to attend the training day, and to apply, candidates must make a short film of no more than two minutes in which they talk to the camera, explain their job “in layman’s terms” and relate a story, within their area of expertise, that they think the general public would find interesting.
The video “can be as simple as a friend recording you on a smartphone”, the BBC says.
More information on how to apply is available at bbc.co.uk/academy.
Dodgy filmmaking skills will be forgiven: the broadcaster says it will choose candidates based on their passion for their subject, their communication skills, their unique selling point as an expert in their field, relevance to audience needs and their potential as an on-screen or on-mic talent.
The BBC’s decision to hold training days specifically for women experts follows a report in 2012 by Sound Women (the UK’s equivalent of the Irish gender-balance pressure group Women on Air) that found that 84 per cent of the reporters and guests on Radio 4 current affairs flagship Today programme were men.