Election night coverage on all the main TV channels will be hosted by men and it's no coincidence

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Friday 06 December 2019 10:00
(PA/Justin Sutcliffe/Dermot Murnaghan/BBC)

A "record number" of women are standing for parliament in the election next week – by which we mean about a third of all candidates are women, while 65 per cent are men.

Similarly, only 32 per cent of sitting MPs in the last term were women. Similarly, under Boris Johnson, only seven out of 22 cabinet ministers are women.

With all this in mind, you might think the media would be trying to improve things. You would be wrong.

So there are four main TV channels covering the election:

BBC1​: Anchored by Huw Edwards (a man)​
ITV​: Anchored by Tom Bradby (a man)
Sky News: Anchored by Dermot Murnaghan (a man)
Channel 4: Actual coverage anchored by Krishnan Guru-Murthy (a man)

The latter also offers its "alternative election" coverage (in other words, the jokes we're all really here for). To their credit, they miraculously found an actual real-life woman for that top job – Clare Balding. While it's great to see a female comedian get such a high-profile gig, it seems slightly shady in the macro sense to relegate the fluffy offering to the woman while all the "serious politics" is the domain of men.

To be fair, all the channels will presumably have women lined up, including Kirsty Wark and Laura Kuennessberg (obvs) for the BBC. But one wonders why it is that they're all in essentially supporting roles.

It's almost as if politics were known for being mostly the domain of the straight, white, middle-class man...

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