Twitterati clamours for more diversity on the air

Image by Rob Curran via Unsplash

Lack of diversity at RTÉ the most common complaint among a subset of Twitter users.

RTÉ Radio 1 is looking for a new head… that is, a job has come up at the public service broadcaster for the role of Head of RTÉ Radio 1.

And the Twitter community, despite its reputation for being an echo chamber, had plenty of ideas to share to improve what some might regard as one of Ireland’s national treasures.

Active Twitterer Helen O’Rahilly who according to her bio is a former BBC One exec and former director of RTÉ TV, posted this tweet a few weeks ago about the job opening:

https://twitter.com/HelenORahilly/status/1230270211615526912

An analysis of 227 of the replies she received is below; unrelated tweets were discarded.

The love/hate tweets were an opportunity for people to vent their frustrations but also to show the love, with John Creedon and the Morning Ireland format doing especially well.

Some suggested what new voices could be added to RTÉ, with a handful putting themselves forward for a job of some sort.

Negative Tweets about specific shows included some disgruntled comments aimed at Ray Darcy and Ryan Turbidy. Many suggested redirecting their salaries. The rebuttal:

And with Brexit lurking in the background, a push for more European voices and a generally more diverse set of interviewees and anchors seemed to dominate the discussion.

Meanwhile… across the pond, late last year the BBC decided to tackle its very own lack of diversity in the newsroom by appointing a person in charge of overseeing change, the Director of Creative Diversity.

England’s public broadcaster is in fact currently in the process of fighting the Boris Johnson administration’s plans to thwart its main funding stream.

The BBC’s new diversity policy, spearheaded by one Lord Hall, also includes promoting people with diverse (presumably not white and/or not male) backgrounds to management positions.

But is this even possible? There is an unintended bias in the recruitment process to hire people just like you.

Have your say in the comments below… How can RTÉ Radio 1 diversify its programming?