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Women and the Media

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A couple of weeks ago Sky’s Andy Gray and Richard Keys made sexist comments about a female lineswoman, prompting a furore around sexism and the media.

However, a further layer - namely ageism - was added to the issue this week, with former BBC newsreader Anna Ford branding David Dimbleby and John Simpson as “dinosaurs”.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Ford was commenting on Dimbleby being offered a five year extension to his Question Time contract, which would mean he would present the flagship politics show until he’s 77 years old. Ford has expressed in the past that she felt she had to leave the BBC five years ago because she couldn’t face the prospect of being “shovelled off into News 24 to the sort of graveyard shift”.

Unfortunately, the issue of ageism that Ford's comments relate to aren’t anything new; in 2007 Moira Stuart’s axing from our screens caused outrage, and in 2008 Selina Scott started a tirade against sexist and ageist TV chiefs.

Dimbleby hasn’t confirmed whether he’ll be accepting the Question Time offer, so the rumour mills have been turning over who will replace him, with bookmakers Boylesports making Jeremy Vine is favourite with 2/1 odds, followed by John Humphrys at 3/1 and Jeremy Paxman at 4/1. Unsurprisingly, of the 20 names on the list only three are women.

Do you think media is a sexist and ageist arena? Or is the whole thing blown out of proportion? Are there enough ‘serious’ women presenters? Let us know what you think in the comments section below...

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