New report reveals prolific racial and gender disparities at UK radio stations – Reuters

A new report from inclusion activists Why Not Her? found a huge disparity in racial and gender balances between the 26 major UK radio stations.

The study, which examines how equality is distributed across radio plays over time, found that major stations including BBC Radio 1, Bauer and Global are all dominated by white male performers.

Over the past 12 months, Why Not Her? reported that only 8% of songs in the Top 50 were by POC artists. In the Top 100, white artists are represented 10 times more than POC artists.

Elsewhere, the study found that UK-based male solo artists feature three times more in the Top 100 than female solo artists in the UK and international charts.

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Including both solo and collaborative songs, British male artists account for 80% of the top 100 tracks, while female artists feature in only 60% of them.

“It’s such a shame that there is a stifled desire to truly create change and represent a balanced view of music and essentially the storytelling and culture of our people by our musical creatives,” says Linda Coogan, Principal Data Analyst and Founder of Why Not Her? Byrne.

“Before these radio reports on gender disparity, we never would have imagined that radio would essentially amplify, promote and employ one part of society at the expense of another. We hope these data reports can continue to create a precedent for many changes to come.”

The report also assessed the stations individually, noting that one of Britain’s biggest radio stations, BBC Radio 1, saw only 15% female artists in the station’s 20 most listened to tracks in 2022.

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Of the stations surveyed, BBC Radio 6 led in gender equality with around 45% male performers, 50% female and 5% strangers in the station’s top 20 most listened to tracks. August 2021 to August 2022. BBC Radio 1Xtra has also paved the way for POC Artists.

“Change can happen at a rapid pace when unconscious bias is removed. We hope this report helps bring about structural change,” Coogan Byrne said.

Read the full report here.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

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