NUJ joins boycott of Project Diamond
2 June 2017
The National Union of Journalists has confirmed that the union will boycott the broadcasters’ Project Diamond diversity initiative if they persist in shrouding key statistics on workplace participation in a veil of secrecy.
The union is joining sister unions Bectu and the Writers' Guild of Great Britain following consultation with the union’s Black Members’ Council, Equality Council, Disabled Members' Council and 60+ Council.
The industry-wide diversity monitoring system, created by broadcasters BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky, supported by Pact and Creative Skillset, through the Creative Diversity Network, to capture the equality data of all those working on programmes they commission, had initially been welcomed by the NUJ and its sister unions. But as the broadcasters have so far refused to publish equality monitoring data for individual programmes or series, the unions have agreed to boycott the scheme.
Séamus Dooley, acting NUJ general secretary, described the attitude of the broadcast organising as “extremely disappointing”.
“The under-representation of minorities in the workplace is a matter of serious concern to the NUJ. Diversity must be at the heart of broadcasting policy. The starting point for achieving true diversity is an open and honest assessment of the current situation. Programme-level data collected by Project Diamond must therefore be shared, even in confidence, with recognised trade unions.”
The NUJ is calling on the broadcasting organisations to reconsider their stance. If they do agree to publish the data as called for by the unions, the NUJ, Bectu and the Writers Guild will immediately begin working closely with them to maximise participation in the equality monitoring and to work with productions that are in most need of assistance.