Carrie Gracie (Chinese: 凱瑞; born 1962) is a Scottish journalist best-known as having been the China editor for BBC News. She resigned from this post at the beginning of January 2018, citing what she said was pay discrimination over gender for the BBC's international editors. She returned to her former post in the BBC newsroom.
Gracie in Chongqing, China in 2015
|Born||1962 (age 56–57)|
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh|
University of Oxford
University of Westminster
|Occupation||News editor, Presenter, Television producer, Newsreader|
|BBC World Service|
BBC News 24
"Reporters (BBC News programme),
|Spouse(s)||Cheng Jin (divorced)|
Gracie's father was a Scottish oil executive; Gracie was born while he was on assignment in Bahrain. She was educated in Aberdeenshire and Glasgow. She studied at the University of Edinburgh, before leaving to run her own restaurant for a year. She then graduated from Hertford College at the University of Oxford with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
In 1985 she went to China to teach English and Economics at Yantai and Chongqing Universities. On her return to Britain a year later she managed a small film company. She completed a BA in Chinese in 1996 at the University of Westminster, followed by an MA in Design for Interactive Media from Middlesex University.
Gracie joined the BBC World Service in 1987 as a trainee producer, soon becoming a correspondent as well as on assignment, including African, Chinese and Asia-Pacific regions. She became a correspondent for BBC World Service and then for domestic radio and television in Beijing in 1991. Gracie moved back to the UK in 1999 as a presenter on BBC News and on World Service. For six years from January 2008, she was the main morning presenter for the BBC News Channel on Tuesdays – Fridays alongside Simon McCoy. She is also a presenter for the BBC World Service programme The Interview.
Highlights of her career include covering the death of Deng Xiaoping and the handover of Hong Kong in 1997. Gracie took part in the BBC's coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, as a co-commentator during the opening and closing ceremonies. In October 2008, she was presented with the inaugural Nick Clarke Award for her interview with BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped by the Palestinian Army of Islam in 2007.
Gracie also appeared in the This World programme. She presented a programme entitled "The Fastest Changing Place on Earth". This followed three villages in China over six years as they became subject to an urbanisation scheme by the Chinese government. The programme was broadcast on 5 March 2012.
In an earlier series of features for BBC World News (TV) and BBC World Service (radio), she had tracked the process of power changes, migration, changing work/educational options and land redevelopment in a single southeastern Chinese village: this series of reports from White Horse village (the place name appearing in the titles of the various parts of the project) aired between ca 2006 and 2008. A follow-up came in 2015.
In December 2013, she was appointed BBC News' first editor for China based in Beijing. She resigned from this post at the end of December 2017/beginning of January 2018, citing pay discrimination over gender for the BBC's international editors. Her pay was £92K in 2009 and it was £135K in 2017, but she said the dispute was about parity and not about the amount. Jeremy Bowen, the BBC Middle East editor, earned somewhere between £150K and £199K, while North American editor Jon Sopel earned somewhere £200K and £249K. The BBC had offered a 33% pay rise but, according to Gracie, had failed to offer equal pay. The dispute occurred against a background of complaints about excessive pay for some employees of the publicly funded BBC. The BBC stated it had "inadvertently" underpaid her by £100,000 because the senior journalist was “in development.”
Since returning to London she has often been the main afternoon presenter on weekends either on the BBC News Channel or BBC World News. In June the BBC agreed to give her years of back pay and to pay her equally with other men presenters. Gracie has taken up to six months of unpaid leave and will take on writing and speaking engagements about both China and gender equality. After which she will return to her post on the BBC News Channel and BBC World News.
Gracie speaks fluent Mandarin. She has two children from her previous marriage with Chinese rock musician Cheng Jin. The children both spent a term in a Chinese school. In 2012, she had treatment for cancer.
- editor, Graham Ruddick Media (9 January 2018). "New culture secretary attacks pay of BBC foreign editors". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- Andrew Moody "A sense of history", China Daily, 1 February 2013
- "凱瑞辭去BBC中國總編輯職位 指責男女收入差距" (in Chinese). 8 January 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- Ben Dowell "Carrie Gracie profile: Award-winning journalist with years at World Service", theguardian.com, 12 May 2009
- "BBC appoints Telegraph's Kamal Ahmed as business editor". BBC News. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- BBC News | Correspondent Biographies | Carrie Gracie, 14 June 1998
- BBC Newswatch profile
- Dowell, Ben (13 October 2008). "Carrie Gracie wins first Nick Clarke Award". guardian.co.uk (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved on 12 May 2009.
- "The Fastest Changing Place on Earth, This World - BBC Two". BBC. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- "BBC World Service - Documentaries - Return to White Horse Village". Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- Ben Dowell "I'm paid £92,000 a year, BBC News presenter tells peer in live interview", theguardian.com, 8 January 2018
- "The 42 BBC journalists paid more than £150,000 a year – Press Gazette". www.pressgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- Weaver, Matthew (8 January 2018). "Carrie Gracie: 'I could not collude in unlawful pay discrimination'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- "Jeremy Corbyn pledges to slash salaries of BBC stars if Labour wins power". The Independent. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- "Carrie Gracie: Insulting BBC said it underpaid me 'inadvertently' because I was 'in development'". inews.co.uk. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- "BBC China editor Carrie Gracie quits in gender pay row". BBC News. 7 January 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- Di Stefano, Mark (7 January 2018). "A Top BBC Journalist Has Quit As China Editor And Accused The Corporation Of Having A "Secretive And Illegal" Pay Culture". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- "BBC apologises to Carrie Gracie over pay". 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
- Back to school... in China, From Our Own Correspondent, BBC, 29 July 2006
- Bowater, Donna (17 May 2012). "BBC newsreader Carrie Gracie returns after cancer treatment". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
| China Editor 2014-2018 BBC News
BBC News at Nine 2019-present (Mondays)
BBC Newsroom Live 2019-present (Fridays)