Fake News? How about 'Fake Newsreaders?'

18 Jan 2019 10:19 AMMike Bennett
Fake News? How about 'Fake Newsreaders?'

In a world that has become obsessed with real news, fake news, slow news and even no news days I've noticed a disturbing pattern.

The industry is now churning out 'Stepford Wives' style newsreaders and reporters. Gone are the days of the experienced hack on location telling you what really happened, now all you need is a never ending supply of peroxide for your hair, a friendly orthodontist who has shares in teeth whitening products and a relative who is a dab hand with a syringe full of botox then 'voila' you have now become the face of nightly news.

Fake tans, fake teeth and some fake boobs will go a long way to securing a prime time slot. . .and that's only the men! Seriously, turn on any TV news at 6pm in any location from the UK to Australia, USA to. . .hold on, they only talk about the USA over there so maybe not the best example but you get my point.

The news industry is often acused of being sexist but not so or at least, not against women under a certain age. It's far more of an ageist society where there are certain key numbers that spell the words 'career over' when it comes to working on screen. 

If you're a woman under the age of 35 then the sky's the limit. Kick off your career in a traffic helicopter, spend a couple of years in front of a green screen pointing at various locations and that weather presenter job has your name written all over it.

If you're really lucky you might even end up doing a 'live' weather broadcast on location with 25 delightful uncontrolled little darlings who think it's hilarious to jump up and down behind you, pulling faces and using those popular finger gestures making sure that nobody is paying any attention to you or the weather.  

Such fun!

The next obvious career move is becoming an autocue reader and learning the skill of reading the script but keeping your mouth open wide while clamping your teeth into a full size grin that Jack Nicholson himself would have been hard pushed to beat when playing the role of the joker.

Total lack of awareness is also a statutory requirement as the 'permagrin' must remain even when reading stories of disaster death and destruction.

The average lifespan of a TV newsreader is around 20 years so once that 36th birthday is on the horizon it could be time for a career move. . .unless you're a man!

Now here's where it get's interesting. In the cutthroat world of news media, women pass their sell by date but men mature and become 'seasoned' professionals.

A 45 year old male reporter is more likely to land a full time gig on a regional news station than a woman of the same age and hitting that big 5 zero is the absolute guarantee that your next role within broadcasting will be as a producer or director.

When it comes to the male version of the news 'luvvie' even hitting 70 is no barrier on regional stations and, what the hell, reach 80, learn about the wildebeest and you could be the next David Attenborough.

Just think you could be saving the planet, getting paid for it and using your seniors pass for discounts on public transport as, let's face it, the editor isn't going to let you drive the crew van any more!