03/02/2012 Newswatch


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young people and older women feel about the way they're represented


Welcome to Newswatch. Later in the programme, why are young people in


television so often portrayed like this? Older people like this? First,


it's been the week when two British bank verse been given a kicking. It


started on Sunday night. Good evening. Within the last few


minutes the BBC has learnt that the Chief Executive of the Royal Bank


of Scotland Stephen Hester has decided not to take his bonus.


Michael Brooks took exception to I wish to express my alarm in the


way the BBC has handled Stephen Hester and his bonus for Royal Bank


of Scotland. Almost all bonuss are performance related. Know the


bonuses were set up and established under a contract drawn up by Labour.


It's high time the BBC gave a balanced view and pulled in


powerful well-known business men to make their observe certificate


vaitions on the true value of bonuses for bankers. By Tuesday the


news had moved on to another hate figure. Arise plain old Fred


Goodwin. Sir Fred Goodwin no longer. The man who sank a bank, the former


Chief Executive of RBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland has been stripped


of his knighthood. MF woods sent us Also making the news this week was


the drop in applications for university, reported on Monday.


Today at 5.00pm a steep fall in the number of students applying for


university places. Applications have fallen by 10% in England where


higher tuition fees are being introduced this year. Did that


steep fall of 10% in England tell the whole story? No, as became


apparent a few minutes later when Reeta Chakrabarti explained to Huw


Edwards that much of the drop related to mature students. School


levers, that figure hasz held up relatively well. It's a drop of


about 3.6%, Ministers say this year, last year and this year, we are in


a demographic dip for 18-year-olds. There are fewer of them. If you


take that into account, the dip in England is more like 1%. A stark


contrast to the overall figure we were reporting at the start. It is


indeed. There was another factor not mepbgts mentioned in headlines


that day -- mentioned in headlines Now, are you happy with the


representation of your particular age group on television? If you are


a young person or an older woman the chances are that you are not.


Many feel TV negatively stereotypes the former and under represents the


former. Mitt 40% of younger people said they were dissatisfied with


how they were portrayed with most of the courage seen as unduly


representative. That was the objection made by Jonny Masters. He


Stereo typing is the complaint highlighted from older people in


the report which echoes the views A similar point was made by John


Batten about this piece broadcast on the news at 1.00pm. Many baby


boomers also enjoy a drink. Now doctors say they need to cut back.


You supported the report on alcohol for the over 65's by footage of a


row of while haired dodders swaying Hanging over this week's survey is


the name of Miriam O'Reilly who a year ago won an age discrimination


case against the BBC. Was this a symbol of a wider under


representation of older women on television? Yes, according to Sally


We asked the BBC for someone to discuss these issues this week.


They refused. Pointing us towards a statement about this week's report


from the BBC's director-general Joining me to discuss that is Lis


Howell, former television journalist and executive and now


director of broadcasting at London's City University. First of


all, you teach young people. What do they think about how they are


portrayed on television, is this report right? One could argue that


television is seen through the prism of the white, older man. The


white older man who tends to call the tune. I would stay that that is


certainly the way that the students tend to view it. To feel quite


angry about it. There are two other factors. The first, is a lot of


young people do not watch a great deal of television. They don't


participate in it in the same way that older people do. Intelligence


trying to attract younger people shouldn't they be careful about how


they are portrayed? That is true. They are trying to attract younger


people but not news in the news and current affair arena. Writing to


picture is something we are teaching them all the time. The


sort of images are used of the sort that can be called up from the


archive and used again and again. The sloppy use of pictures is


definitely contributing to this stereotyping. Zimmer frames were a


wonderful invention for those who need them. Is that a stereo typical


image that you use for almost everybody over the age of 65?


Absolutely. It's easy again. Writing to picture is a complicated


skill. It's easy to do with the simple stereotype pictures you can


access. It has to be re-thought. It would be better in television if


you didn't use a picture every time had you to use words. They don't


have to go together. What about onscreen talent? Older women are


they still under represented on news and current affairs? Very much


so. We did some research that was just to see how many women were


used on television or were on television. What we found was that


female experts are very much in the minority. Would you argue,


therefore, that there should be an effort made almost positive


discrimination to get greater balance or not? As soon as you say


positive discrimination people get angry and upset. It's not an


attractive route. There is a two step programme to improving the


situation if people think it needs to be improved. The first, is


obviously, broadcasters need to think about who they are bringing


in. There is some evidence that broadcasters do try to bring women


in. That women themselves don't want to do it, for all sorts of


complicated reasons. Firstly, I think women themselves have to take


a greater participate ri role in this. Companies that put forward


women spokesmen have to think twice and women in companies have to go


to their head of press or or whatever and say, hang on a minute,


you put up a spokesman, what about me, that is embarrassing and


difficult. A year since the Miriam O'Reilly age discrimination case,


has anything changed? Absolutely. It's changing. You can feel the


ground swell. I'm here talking about this. There is an


organisation called Sound Women campaigning for more women on radio.


It is changing. Everybody has to be part of this campaign. Women and


companies as well as producers and broadcasters. Thank you very much.


Finally, it's been cold this week, hasn't it? Viewers of Breakfast on


Wednesday morning were made well aware of it. It's chilly weather on


the way. Carol is on the Cotswolds for us. It's minus two here. What


was Carol Kirkwood doing in the Cotswolds, that is what Richard


Howard wanted to know. I'm not a grumpy old man. I paid my licence


fee, it staggers me that BBC Breakfast is sending Carol Kirkwood


to the Cotswolds to give a weather report. This happens on a weekly


basis. When the BBC are claiming they are short of money, I find


this such a waste. Well, we asked Breakfast for an explanation. They


Whatever the weather, we would like to hear your opinion on BBC News


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