Exclusion is no Longer Possible says Ground-Breaking Journalist

The first black journalist to work for a national television news channel in the UK has said inclusion is now an unstoppable force which has to be embraced.

Speaking as the global insurance industry launched its annual Dive In Festival to highlight diversity and inclusion in the industry Sir Trevor McDonald said it was no longer optional.

“It is no longer possible to exclude people from any aspect of life,” he told underwriters and brokers at the Willis Towers Watson building in in London.

Sir Trevor said that he hesitated about joining ITN when he was offered the job and made it clear that if he joined he wanted to be a full part of the news team not an individual.

“I was interested in international politics and had been working for the BBC World Service,” he explained. “What I did not want is to be sent to cover stories in Brixton and Bradford because of my colour.

“I said my interest was international politics and as such I wanted to do everything my colleagues would do.”

Sir Trevor said he got his wish and was sent to Belfast to cover the Irish “troubles” and the hotel in which he and the other journalist stayed at was regularly bombed. He added when he spoke to his friends after a period in the job they expressed concern that ITN had sent him to Belfast to get injured or worse.

“I told them that I wanted to be there because that was where I could do my job,” he replied.

In a glittering career Sir Trevor travelled the globe and told the audience how he spend some weeks seeking to obtain an interview with then Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

He finally got the interview in a tent. “I was very keen to ask him about alleged shipments of weapons to the IRA and stirring up discontent,” he explained. “However, he simply said he wanted to talk to me about my career.

“Her asked why I got my job at ITN, and I replied that I had to pay my mortgage. He asked if the UK was diverse, but I did not want to get into a long conversation about UK diversity.

“He then said he understood why I may not want to work in the United States but would I come and work for him.”

Sir Trevor said the biggest problem with the US and coalition of western nation’s invasion of Iraq and toppling of former leader Saddam Hussein was around diversity.

“We left Iraq without tackling the issues of diversity,” he explained. “There is now no one who calls themselves an Iraqi. They are either Sunni or Shia.

“The people who took over the government did not let the others in. There is simply no diversity.”

He added that inclusion was an international concern and to see it otherwise made “no sense”.

“Inclusion and diversity cannot be viewed in any sense other than part and parcel of globalisation,” he explained. “We are all very connected.

“We cannot escape it and we cannot prevent it. Inclusion exists not only in a country but internationally .”