Whats On

Media Watch Monday 17th – Friday 27th February


BBC World Service


8.50am: Witness: Jean Michel Basquiet                                                                                                            In the early 1980s a young black graffiti artist took the New York art world by storm. Soon, his paintings were selling for huge sums but he would die before the decade was out. Hear from Patti Astor who knew him in his heyday.

Aljazeera (Sky 514)


8.30am: Artscape – The New African Photography : George Osodi                                                           Photography with an African perspective. George Osodi photographs the grim reality of oil rich Niger Delta and meets Nigeria’s traditional monarchs.

BBC World Service


9.50am: From Our Own Correspondent: USA to Zanzibar                                                                                The incoming Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, has described the USA’s economic recovery as “far from complete”. Linda Yueh visits the Maryland Coast, to look for signs of it. Is there cause for optimism?
Zanzibar’s very name connotes exoticism and romance, but Petroc Trelawny finds quite the opposite – in a set of high-rise, Soviet-era blocks of flats. What has become of these architectural hangovers from the island’s socialist past?

BBC Radio 4


2pm: Afternoon Drama: When The Laughter Stops                                                                                        Rhakeele sees a return to Africa for a tour of her and husband Musondi’s stand-up act as a chance to reignite their careers and their marriage. He’s not as keen. And it turns out he may be right – as they find themselves caught in a culture clash which threatens everything, including their freedom.

by Sibusiso Mamba, co-created with Daliso Chaponda, with additional material by Ava Vidal

Director: Marion Nancarrow

Real-life stand up comedians Daliso Chaponda and Ava Vidal play married couple Musondi and Rhakeele in this new play which Sibusiso Mamba co-created with Daliso, with additional material by Ava. Rhakeele has a secret desire to go back to the country she was born in – Africa, but for husband Musondi who has never lived there, it initially holds no attraction. Once there, however, the differences between life in the UK and life in Africa become polarised and they find themselves in direct opposition, using what they do best – stand up – to prove which of them is the stronger. But unwittingly they’re making a tense situation in a country Rhakeele no longer understands far worse than they could ever realise and putting their closest friends in jeopardy.

Channel 5

8pm: The Big British Immigration Row: Live                                                                                                  A studio debate exploring the emotive and controversial topic of immigration, examining how it is affecting the United Kingdom and its citizens. Subjects covered include national identity and racial and cultural integration, with contributions by MPs, decision-makers, opinion-formers and immigrants themselves.


Aljazeera (Sky 514)

8pm: Al Jazeera World : The Power and the Pain                                                                                            South Sudanese in the north but displaced by Separation in 2011, reflect on life in the new South, their loyalties sometimes as divided as the country itself.

Aljazeera (Sky 514)

10pm: Fault Lines : Libya: State of Insecurity                                                                                                   Fault Lines returns to Libya to investigate what NATO’s so-called humanitarian intervention has achieved two-and-a-half years after Gaddafi was overthrown.


BBC World Service


3.32pm: The Documentary                                                                                                                              Ghanaian music journalist Afua Hirsch marks the 30th anniversary of Def Jam – the world’s first hip hop record label.




9pm:The White Slums: Reggie Yates’ Extreme South Africa Season 1 Episode 1/3
New series. Presenter Reggie Yates travels to South Africa 20 years after the first democratic elections and in the shadow of former president Nelson Mandela’s death to explore three different communities. He lives in each of them for a week in the hope of discovering more about the country in the 21st century, beginning by visiting a squatter camp in Coronation Park, outside of Johannesburg, mostly populated by Afrikaners. Youth charities claim that up to 400,000 white residents now live below the poverty line, leading to questions being raised about growing inequality in the country



Aljazeera (Sky 514)

dj cleo

7.30pm: Artscape – The New African Photography : Neo Ntsoma                                                          Neo Ntsoma revisits DJ Cleo & the stars of South Africa’s democratic dawn to take new portraits and discover the effects of 20 years of freedom.

Lifetime (Sky 156)

betty coretta

9pm: Betty & Coretta (2013)                                                                                                                           Premiere. The widows of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X are left to raise their children alone following the assassination of their husbands. A close and supportive friendship develops between them as they deal with the challenges ahead and take up leading positions in the struggle for racial equality. Fact-based drama, with Angela Bassett and Mary J Blige


BBC plans to cut radio’s only full-time black specialist


THE BBC has come under fire for under-serving black audiences as it prepares to carry out further cuts to its local radio diversity team. An inside source within the public broadcaster revealed to The Voice that the only full-time specialist journalist employed to focus on local radio programming for African and Caribbean communities will be cut from its news hub, BBC UK Black.


The online hub is a specialist multimedia page on the BBC’s website that focuses on news and features affecting black communities in regions such as Northampton, Nottingham, Bedfordshire and London.


The BBC’s community affairs unit – the department feeding into BBC UK Black programmes – used to include 12 specialist journalists up until 1997 when it was cut to just one single role.


Now, one full-time editor and one full-time journalist will be responsible for the BBC’s local radio programming for all Asian, African and Caribbean content across 14 UK regions as of March.


A BBC spokeswoman confirmed the changes.


She said: “From the end of March 2014 there will be a change to the structure of the diversity team at BBC English Regions headquarters. We will therefore maintain a total of two equivalent full time roles in this area of English Regions’ programming and one broadcast journalist post will close.”


The source explained that the two roles that will be retained include one specialist South Asian journalist and the editor of the diversity team, who doesn’t directly feed material into programmes.


“This just demonstrates how little the BBC understands about ethnic communities,” the source who did not wish to be identified told The Voice.




“You can’t assume an Asian journalist is going to know everything about the black community, and vice versa. Black British news is a specialism in its own right.”


In January, BBC bosses chose to scrap BBC UK Black’s weekly podcast, which features highlights of the week’s best shows.

However, the BBC’s recently-appointed director of news and current affairs, James Harding, told staff in a briefing that he was determined to address diversity on and off the air.


During the brief, which was Harding’s first statement of intent since taking up the role in August 2013, he also said the BBC had started to make positive steps in broadening diversity on air, but that there was more to be done.


Harding said: “We’ve got to be clear we’ve got a problem. We’ve got an on-air issue. I personally think we’ve got an even bigger one off-air.”


But the source contended that despite Harding’s statement the BBC was not concerned about diversity at all.


“There’s all this talk about diversity but actually when you look at what’s happening, you can see the BBC just don’t care in the slightest.


“Where will young, up-and-coming black journalists go? It’s just a kick in the teeth,” the source said in frustration.
Samantha Asumadu, via her organisation Media Diversified, is actively campaigning to get more journalists of colour published in national newspapers and magazines as well as heard on broadcast media outlets.


Asumadu said: “The media in any country should be a reflection of its society.”




Politician and MP for Hackney and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott, in speaking about diversity in the media in an interview with The Voice, said the media industry has not changed since she worked for ITV more than two decades ago.


“I think it’s very sad that TV and radio is no more diverse than it was 25 years ago,” she added. “When it comes to behind the cameras, there is not any change at all.”

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