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Ageism in the Media - do you want youthful people on TV/writing papers/on the radio at the expense of older more experienced ones?

(15 Posts)
wellyjobble Fri 31-Jul-09 09:23:58

Have used my namechange as I don't want to out dh .

I know we've had a few threads about this following the strictly come dancing (or whatever it's called!) cull.

But I just feel so frustrated as my dh is in the media and has just found out that his boss/company is trying to sideline him and the main reason appears to be because he is in his 40s shock and they want new blood! Our only hope is that they offer him a big package to leave but even then, he is really hurt and offended by what is happening.

I just wonder how long these companies are going to get away with this. Surely we, the viewing/reading/listening public do not demand or necessarily even want younger people all the time? Does experience count for nothing ?

expatinscotland Fri 31-Jul-09 09:25:44

They'll get away with it as long the apathetic British public does nothing but moan about it.

epithet Fri 31-Jul-09 09:30:03

No, it's awful for your dh and everyone else in his situation. I think the media has gone too far with its Cult of Youth - I know they want to snare youngsters in the hope that brand loyalty will ensue, but I don't think this approach even works in the long term.

I loved the paper I bought in my 20s, but now I find it full of vapid nonsense (codger alert grin), so don't take it any more. I can't be the only one.

wellyjobble Fri 31-Jul-09 09:30:40

I think the strength of feeling behind the Arlene Philips axing made me feel quite positive but it's still happening all the time. Behind scenes, everywhere.

It must be the perception that this is what the public wants.

epithet Fri 31-Jul-09 09:31:01

Sorry, I meant 'snare youngsters' as readers/consumers - with the knock-on effect of having to employ younger staff. In case that wasn't clear.

wellyjobble Fri 31-Jul-09 09:36:45

yes, makes sense epithet. I just wonder when they will realise the influence and purchasing power of the 'older' population! Seems to me like they are missing a trick tbh.

kathyis6incheshigh Fri 31-Jul-09 09:41:22

Great thread wellyjobble. I was thinking about it in relation to the BBC and was thinking 'well if they want to keep the license fee it is really a bit of a damn cheek to do this to older women'.
They have done a very effective job at improving visible ethnic diversity on our screens, but as for the age/gender issue, they are pretty rubbish.
I wonder whether they have 2 sets of indicators, age and gender, and when you look at them separately they are doing fine (ie lots of women, lots of older people) and it's only when you put them together you see that older women are completely shafted.
Sorry to hear this is happening to 'older' men behind the scenes as well.

southeastastra Fri 31-Jul-09 09:48:01

i'd prefer older types too, probably ot but i really dislike ben shepherd he's like a teenager

yama Fri 31-Jul-09 09:55:41

I not keen on 'new blood'.

As long as presenter/journalist/radio broadcaster is intelligent and articulate I'm happy.

I suspect that some men will admit to prefering a pretty face on their tv set.

Nancy66 Fri 31-Jul-09 11:03:04

I wasn't aware this was something affecting men. I thought the view was that the public will consider an older man like Jonathan Dimbleby, Trevor McDonald etc to be experienced and authoritative but when it comes to women they just want totty.

I wouldn't shed too many tears if they pensioned off Bruce Forsyth. But 40s is a bit young to be sidelined. Are you sure it isn't just a clash rather than an age thing?

edam Fri 31-Jul-09 11:32:32

You are right about the media preferring youth over experience, particularly broadcast. It does hit women harder than men, although not exclusively.

Another issue is that generally younger workers are cheaper and easier to get rid of if the company needs to restructure.

Bloody daft in an ageing society where the audience/readers are getting more mature all the time...

kathyis6incheshigh Fri 31-Jul-09 11:37:58

I read an article somewhere (can't remember where, will probably turn out to be the Mail) that argued that the theory that you need to appeal primarily to younger audiences because once you have their loyalty they won't switch, is outdated anyway because these days people brand-hop much more than they used to.

wellyjobble Fri 31-Jul-09 11:46:54

no, it's not a clash. It's a genuine age thing. While your comments may apply to broadcast TV, print is a different matter and if they think they can 'pension' off the old lot and shove in younger ones, they are doing their utmost best at the moment. It has happened to several friends of dhs but tbh, it has always been this way.

What I find strange (I don't work in the media) is that it is something that's almost tolerated. For example, there are rarely court cases about it in the media (I can think of a few but they are very few and far between) largely because the company normally gives a huge pay off to shut them up.

Dh's friend (male) last year got a year's salary to go quietly.

Maybe this is where it needs to be changed first and foremost.

Katisha Fri 31-Jul-09 11:47:23

I hate it when reporters talk about "elderly" people and you find they are talking about someone in their 60s or even 50s...

Has you DH had it out in the open with his boss? What is their official excuse?

AitchTwoOh Fri 31-Jul-09 11:51:54

it's been going on for years, i know female freelancers who've simply changed their byline. same women, same writing, but their eds think they're dealing with a 'new' person. ridiculous.

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