07/25/2013 10:58 am ET

Women On TV: Style And Substance


It's been a big two days for TV news. Happy domestic events that pull in a fifth of the available audience, as the main channels' baby coverage did, are rare indeed. These mass viewing events matter. They shape the way we see the world we live in. We turn on the TV looking for a better kind of reality. We want the people who read the news to sound intelligent and authoritative, and the ones who do interviews to be knowledgeable, sharp and persistent.

In particular we expect the BBC to represent some kind of cultural norm. But because there is still a relatively narrow range of broadcasters, there is a remarkably homogenous view of what is acceptable and what isn't. Whatever the channel, at least in news, sport and current affairs we hope to see a recognisable world without the rough bits: among other things, that is, a world free of racism, sexism or ageism. And when we do come across them, it feels as if the discrimination of day-to-day living has in some way been legitimised.

Read more on The Guardian