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

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.”


Qatar’s BeIN chairman, two others indicted in bribery case

Updated 6 min 53 sec ago

Qatar’s BeIN chairman, two others indicted in bribery case

  • Former FIFA general secretary Jerome charged with accepting bribes, among others
  • BeIN media group Nasser Al-Khelaifi charged with inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement

GENEVA: Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was charged Thursday by Swiss federal prosecutors in connection with a wider bribery investigation linked to World Cup television rights.

The office of Switzerland’s attorney general filed an indictment charging Al-Khelaifi with inciting former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke “to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.”

The Qatari football and television executive, however, no longer faces an accusation of bribery. Following a three-year investigation, FIFA reached an “amicable agreement” with Al-Khelaifi last month, prosecutors said, to drop its criminal complaint relating to the awarding of 2026 and 2030 World Cup rights to Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports.

Al-Khelaifi is the head of Doha-based BeIN Sports and also a member of the UEFA executive committee.

Al-Khelaifi was indicted for his alleged part in providing Valcke — who had influence over the awarding of World Cup rights until being removed from office in 2015 — with use of a luxury villa in Sardinia without paying rent valued at up to €1.8 million ($1.94 million).

Valcke was charged with accepting bribes, “several counts of aggravated criminal mismanagement … and falsification of documents.”

For the first time in the five-year investigation of FIFA business, Swiss prosecutors revealed that they believe Valcke received kickbacks totaling €1.25 million to steer World Cup rights toward favored broadcasters in Italy and Greece.

A third person who was not identified was charged with bribery over those payments and also for inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.

Al-Khelaifi was appointed to the UEFA executive committee, representing European football clubs, one year ago despite being implicated in the bribery case. He is also an influential board member of the European Club Association, which is seeking to drive reforms in the Champions League to favor elite clubs such as French champion PSG.

He denied wrongdoing after being questioned in 2017 and 2019 in connection with criminal proceedings opened three years ago.

Al-Khelaifi has also been implicated in a separate corruption investigation by French prosecutors that is linked to Qatar seeking hosting rights for the track and field world championships. Doha hosted the 2019 edition.