Welcome to the Mamamia Wine Bar, a new daily post where we’ll fill you in on some of the things everyone’s talking about today.
Pull up chair, pour yourself a glass of whatever you like and have a chat.
1. WHERE ARE THE OLDER WOMEN ON TV?
With news that 69 year old legendary journalist Mike Willesee will return to the TV screen on Channel 7’s current affairs program Sunday Night, journalist Kellie Connelly wrote this piece in the Daily Telegraph about the so-called Senior News Anchors Club – a “club” that includes distinguished male journalists “instantly recognisable to anyone over the age of 30”. But no women.
Its members are George Negus, 69, Laurie Oaks, 68, Ray Martin, 67, Kerry O’Brien, 66, and Peter Harvey, also in his 60s.
Their latest recruit, back after a 20-year break, is Mike Willesee, who turns 70 in June. Willesee will be a reporter for Channel 7’s Sunday Night current affairs program, and is expected to tackle the big interviews again. He’ll be promoted for his pedigree – for being part of that elite unit that allows deep-voiced promo men to advertise “when experience matters”.
These are the journalists Kellie writes about. How many do you recognise?
But, she writes, the distinguished female journalists of commercial TV are at least a generation behind. There’s Tracey Grimshaw, 51, Liz Hayes, 55 and Jana Wendt, also 55. Unlike the US, where women like 82-year-old Barbara Walters and 66-year-old Dianne Sawyer dominate the screen, that’s not the case in Australia.
More from Kellie:
But how do we defend the continuing drop-off rate of middle-aged women in commercial TV newsrooms now – in an era of acceptance and in a time when audiences respond to females of authority? We have, after all, a female prime minister and a female governor-general.
Perhaps the media could take a lesson or two from Westpac or other progressive businesses that recognise the value of seniority in their female employees and actively lure them back after having children. It’s a small investment in those ever-so-quick years when an employee’s children are babies.It’s a great shame that most female on-the-road commercial TV reporters never reach their peak.
Note: don’t miss a brilliant post from Kellie coming later this week on MM.
2. DO FEMALE TENNIS PLAYERS DESERVE THE SAME PRIZE MONEY AS THE GUYS?
$2.3 million. That’s how much both Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka walked away with after winning the final at the Australian Open over the weekend. There’s been a lot of debate over whether the players should be awarded the same amount of prize money; Djokovic played a five-set game over 5 hours and 53 minutes, while Azarenka won in three-set in 1 hour and 22 minutes.
This is what Mark Gottlieb said in a post for The Punch:
“The idea that everyone, regardless of gender, race or any other defining feature, should receive equal pay for equal isn’t up for debate. But to claim that the women’s tournament is equal in work to the men’s is easily dismissed.
A women’s match can’t last longer than three sets. A men’s match can’t be any shorter. Yet they’re both treated as requiring equal reward for effort.”