Saturday, December 5, 2009

Susan Osman

From the Times Online:
A BBC News presenter claims that she has been forced to move to Beijing to escape the corporation’s ingrained “culture of ageism”.

Discarded BBC stars such as Moira Stuart could follow the example of Susan Osman, 51, a BBC News Channel presenter, who announced that she was to take over a leading programme in China.

Osman has worked in broadcasting for 28 years, presenting bulletins on BBC World and reporting for ITN News. She fronted the Bristol-based Points West on BBC One for 14 years.

But she claimed that her age had become an insurmountable barrier in Britain. She has accepted a job hosting a prime-time breakfast show on China Radio International and is moving to Beijing.

Ms Osman said: “There seems to be a culture of ageism in broadcasting in this country, and it particularly affects women.”

The freelance presenter had been for a series of auditions for BBC jobs and been told she was “marvellous”. But she was consistently overlooked, without explanation.

While British women face ageism in broadcasting when they reached their 40s, their longevity is an asset in Asia. “In China they revere experience,” she said. “The older you are the better. I got the impression that my future boss actually wanted me to be older when I finally told him my age during the interview.”

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