BBC to allow top-earning stars to engage critics on social media

The BBC must make the disclosure under the terms of its 11-year royal charter negotiated with David Cameron’s government. (Reuters)
Updated 19 July 2017
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BBC to allow top-earning stars to engage critics on social media

LONDON: British broadcaster BBC will allow its top stars to defend themselves on social media after details of their salaries are revealed on Wednesday.
The list of top TV and radio presenters, who earn more than £150,000 (SR732,630) a year, is expected to include Gary Lineker, Graham Norton and Fiona Bruce.
BBC’s talents — such as Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, who has more than 5 million Twitter followers — are frequent users of social media and often engage readers and critics in bitter exchanges.
Last year David Cameron ordered the BBC to disclose what it paid on-air talent earning more than £450,000 a year. But the figure was slashed to £150,000 under Theresa May in a move that meant other well-known faces – such as Laura Kuenssberg and John Humphrys – would also be on the list.
BBC has told all employees on the list that their salary was to be revealed and has offered support and advice on dealing with the fallout.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said publishing the salaries of stars earning more than £150,000 would bring the BBC “in line with the civil service” on transparency.
It would help ensure that BBC “produces value for money for the license fee” and that more transparency could lead to savings that could be “invested in even more great programs,” she told the House of Commons in September last year.
Wednesday’s publication of the list – alongside its annual report – will be followed by a vigorous defense of the BBC’s top-level pay from senior corporation figures, led by director general Tony Hall.


“I completely understand that to lots and lots of people these are very large sums but we are a broadcaster, a global broadcaster, in a very competitive market,” Hall said in an interview.
“No-one would want us to be paying sums where it’s not at a discount to the market. People expect us to have great broadcasters, great presenters, great stars but pay them less than they would get in the market.”


Arab News women driving cover wins further recognition in DNA Paris Design Awards

Updated 23 May 2019
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Arab News women driving cover wins further recognition in DNA Paris Design Awards

  • Arab News scooped the awards for its front page by “New Yorker” illustrator Malika Favre, which was published to mark the move to allow women in Saudi Arabia to drive
  • It has won numerous awards since its publication and been one of the most retweeted artworks celebrating women driving in the Kingdom

LONDON: Arab News has continued its success on the international awards stage by winning two honorable mentions at the DNA Paris Design Awards.

The newspaper scooped the awards for its front page by “New Yorker” illustrator Malika Favre, which was published to mark the move to allow women in Saudi Arabia to drive.

The honorable mentions were for the categories “Graphic design - Editorial” and “Graphic design - Key art (Posters, covers, illustration).”

"For Arab News to be recognised again on a global scale with this award is a great honor," Simon Khalil, global creative director at Arab News, said. “Our women drivers cover has been recognised with eight design awards so far and this highlights just how important this moment in history was for women across the Kingdom.

 “Malika Favre was the obvious choice for our cover, and her illustration brilliantly captures the significance of this moment on the day Saudi Arabia changed forever."

The illustration was commissioned by Arab News for the cover of a special souvenir edition on June 24 of last year. It has become one of the most retweeted artworks celebrating women driving in the Kingdom.

The cover has won numerous awards since it was published. In March, it was recognized by SND awards, one of the most prestigious in the industry.

In February, the cover image was recognized in the international design awards run by “HOW” magazine.

The DNA Paris Design Awards honors international architects and designers “who improve our daily lives through practical, beautiful and innovative design,” according to its website.