BBC editor quits China post over pay discrimination

Carrie Gracie, who quit as China editor for BBC, said in her personal blog that was a “crisis of trust” at the British state broadcaster, and that it was “breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure.” (Reuters)
Updated 08 January 2018
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BBC editor quits China post over pay discrimination

BEIJING: Carrie Gracie, the China editor for Britain’s public broadcaster the BBC, has resigned from her post in Beijing due to pay disparities with her male colleagues, according to an open letter she wrote.
The BBC has come under fire recently for paying male employees more and has pledged to close the gender gap by 2020.
In July, it revealed as part of a funding settlement with the government that it paid its then top male star five times more than its best-paid female presenter, and that two-thirds of on-air employees earning at least £150,000 (SR762,047) were men.
In a letter published on her personal blog on Sunday, Gracie said there was a “crisis of trust” at the broadcaster, where she has worked for 30 years, and that it was “breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure.”
The BBC had four international editors, two men and two women, of which she was one, she said.
When the BBC revealed top salaries as part of last year’s settlement, Gracie said she learned that the two men made at least 50 percent more money than the women in those roles.
She said she had since had been offered a pay increase that remained “far short of equality” and left her post in Beijing last week, returning to her former job in the BBC TV newsroom.
“The BBC must admit the problem, apologize and set in place an equal, fair and transparent pay structure,” she said, calling for an independent arbitration to settle individual cases at the broadcaster.
The BBC cited a BBC spokeswoman as saying that “fairness in pay” at the corporation is “vital,” and that an audit of pay for rank and file staff led by an independent judge found there was “no systemic discrimination against women.”


Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry inaugurates Arab News Pakistan bureau

Updated 16 February 2019
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Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry inaugurates Arab News Pakistan bureau

  • New office will be hub for Asian operation of paper and builds on relationship with community and its digital generation
  • Arab News launched its online Pakistan edition www.arabnews.pk in February last year as part of its global digital expansion plans

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has officially inaugurated Arab News Pakistan bureau in the country’s capital.

Chaudhry was the chief guest at the occasion and several prominent Pakistani media personalities and Arab News staff also attended the launch ceremony.

Standing side by side with Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas, who is in Pakistan as part of the media delegation accompanying the royal visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Arab News Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani, Chaudhry cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the office.

“I am very happy for two reasons: The perception was building that the newspapers were not coming (to Pakistan), so once an international publication like Arab News (has come here) it certainly gives us a huge boost.”

Chaudhry described how the relationship between the nations was becoming stronger, particularly with the growth of Pakistan’s voice in the Middle East.

‘Secondly, I think this is an era where Pakistan is playing a very important role in the Middle East and to have such a major Middle Eastern publication coming to Pakistan itself shows the kind of importance Pakistan has of the Middle East and vice versa, we are very happy to have you here.’

Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas thanked the Pakistani information minister for his presence at the inauguration and for the efforts of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to help facilitate the newspaper’s operations in Islamabad. 

“The inauguration of our Islamabad bureau a year after the launch of our local digital edition is an indicator of our commitment to Pakistan and our determination to help create a better understanding of Saudi Arabia and the region,” said Abbas. 

“Ever since its establishment in 1975, Arab News has had a special relationship with the massive and incredibly loyal Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia. Today we inaugurate this bureau in Islamabad to ensure a continued connection with the community and establish a relationship with a new more digital and highly connected generation,” he added. 

Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani said that the new office would be a hub not only for the Arab News Pakistan edition but also for the entire Asian operation of the paper. “We currently have reporters across Pakistan as well as nine other Asian countries and with the help, hard work and dedication of our team at the Islamabad bureau we hope not only to better manage our operation but to grow further in Asia as well.” 

Arab News launched its online Pakistan edition www.arabnews.pk in February last year as part of its global digital expansion plans. The project is the first of many new international editions planned by the Riyadh-based newspaper. 

Arab News is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG).