New statistics in the news broadcast and television industry indicates that there is a severe drought of older women making a presence (UKPA).
Even the people working behind the scenes acknowledge that too few older females are getting any airtime or opportunities in the media and journalism industry. After a slew of gender-related discrimination cases, director-general of BBC Mark Thompson is openly admitting that there not enough older women making a presence in top television programs (Batty).
While there are younger women in the work place, journalist Carol Forsloff calls these young women “sidekicks for the males in media” (Forsloff)
Personally, I find that the greatest testimony to show how few women are in the news media sector is the fact that there is so few research on them (Forsloff).
The standard is set as Thompson questions “If the BBC isn’t prepared to take this issue more seriously, what hope is there that others will start to do so?” Thompson states that it is important for BBC editors and producers to weigh in and make an effort to tackle these issues.
But the issue doesn’t rely just on the programs that choose the women and pay for their stay; the issue is two fold: the women’s mentality of choice and the broadcast agency’s choice. If this is the case, then what deters women from pursuing the news media industry and what may influence a broadcast agency from straying away from older women?
A study by the BBC shows that some of the stereotypes against the older people were their “perceptions about a reluctance to move with the times and tendency to moan” (Plunkett). But whether this is exclusive to women is questionable as older men may have the same issues of stubbornness.
You would think that most of the on-air specialist journalists would be of the older category who were more knowledgeable and well-bred on the subject, but most of these positions are passed to men because the women either drop out before making it to senior positions or are simply looked over.
There’s also the increasing pressure to be physically attractive, especially with anything involving the media. Whether this is a flawed cultural and societal mentality or whether it’s because of viewer preference, I think it speaks to a degenerating society. I foresee the continuation of the practice of replacing “with what people felt were less qualified but younger, more attractive women.” (Revior)
I find that these new revelations about the declining numbers of the older women population on television is contrary to the fact that there is an incredibly increasing amount of female elderly, the elder women population to be the highest due to the longevity of their life span.
BBC ‘got it wrong on women’
BBC’s Mark Thompson: There Aren’t Enough Older Women On TV
I got it wrong on older women: BBC boss admits there ARE too few on TV
Lack of older women on TV ‘a fact’
Television ‘misrepresents’ young people and older women