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.”


The Independent and SRMG announce major international expansion deal

Updated 19 July 2018
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The Independent and SRMG announce major international expansion deal

  • Four new websites will be created under The Independent branding
  • The sites will be operated by the Saudi Research and Marketing Group

LONDON: The UK and US-based online publisher The Independent and the Middle East media house, Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), have announced a new licensing deal that will see the creation of a series of new websites in four different languages.

The sites will offer news, insight and analysis on global affairs and local events, and will be published in Arabic, Urdu, Turkish and Persian.

In addition, each site will feature translated articles from independent.co.uk alongside content from teams of SRMG journalists based in London, Islamabad, Istanbul, and New York, as well as operations teams in Riyadh and Dubai.

The new sites – Independent Arabia, Independent Urdu, Independent Turkish, and Independent Persian – will be owned and operated by SRMG. And all editorial practices and output will conform to the standards, code of conduct and established ethos of The Independent.

The Independent – which started life as a national newspaper in the UK, has, over many decades, established a global reputation for respected independent coverage of the Middle East.

And now the brand has a recently strengthened its team. This new project is part of the strategic growth of the title, which has recently expanded its overseas reporting, with correspondents in Jerusalem, Delhi, Moscow and Istanbul.

Further roles in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and Seattle are planned, as well as additional staff in the main London and New York newsrooms, enriching the title’s international footprint at a time when many news publishers around the world are cutting back.

Zach Leonard, Managing Director, Independent Digital News and Media, said: “The Independent is known and respected around the world for the quality of its journalism and the trust and authority it has earned through 31 years. As a fully digital publisher, our influence and reach have never been greater, with a loyal user and subscriber base and a total readership in excess of 100 million each month.

“This new chapter brings an opportunity to build on that heritage and increase our reach at a fascinating time of rapid change in the Middle East. We look forward to showcasing new ideas and provoking debate with new audiences across the region and beyond.”

The four new websites – independentarabia.com, independenturdu.com, independentturkish.com and independentpersian.com – will launch later this year. Social media accounts will be publicized as the services are launched. The Independent will continue to publish its own content, as it does now, in the English language.

By 2022, it is expected that two-thirds of the world’s population will be using smartphone technology. And much of this growth will take place outside of the more mature markets of the UK and Europe. For news publishers with a strong legacy and reputation for international reporting, this represents a huge opportunity.

Dr. Ghassan Alshibl, the Chairman of SRMG, said: “We deeply believe that SRMG, through this comprehensive partnership forged with The Independent, is growing the level of its international licensing businesses to a higher altitude. Our reach, with this multilingual project targeting hundreds of millions of readers around the world, will be farther, and our audiences will be enormously wider.

“As part of SRMG’s global business initiatives we began in 2006 with a number of the biggest publishers in the world, we have been demonstrating in all our partnerships, like today with IDNM, SRMG’s eagerness and commitment to grow and strengthen its content platforms to be distinctly competitive in the wider space of the global media industry based on the strong professional pillars of credibility, authenticity and knowledgeable authority of quality journalism.”