There’s an Australian broadcast reporter, Sandra Sully, who is possibly our most famous “˜news’ presenter (and I use the term “˜news’ quite loosely). She’s blond, slim, with a perfect complexion, and recently channel Ten has taken her from behind the desk to sitting on the edge of it. Oh, and bringing the necklines of her tops lower and lower. An Australian skit show has taken to calling her ‘Sandra Sultry’.
There was a big uproar when they started doing this, one I thought wasn’t worth the fuss. But it bothered me that some bigwig had thought “˜how can we boost ratings? I know, lets get an attractive blond and put her into a cleavage-revealing top! What, you mean we’re supposed to be reporting the news? Forget that, we have Sandra Sully”¦’
At a career day for journalism recently, a representative for channel ten said he couldn’t believe how many young women they got who did their video resumes dressed in little more then a bikini, each hoping to be the next Sully. He denounced it as being highly unprofessional, and these tapes were immediately binned (after you all had a good perve, I’m sure). But I wanted to ask: and who’s fault was it these girls felt their best hope was to present in revealing clothes?
They claim to want professional standards, but undermine their own claims by having Sully as the star of their show. This sounded to me like act chaste and professional, until we need to spike the ratings.
And what’s worse, women who complain about this standard continue the cycle by watching ten news. This station embarrasses me both as a journalist and feminist. (It’s also the station that runs Big Brother“¦) It’s the kind of badly-researched sensationalist news that many commercial networks run, which people then complain about because it’s badly-researched and sensationalist.
Scarlett has a solution: switch to PBS. Seriously, a few weeks of plummeting audiences, and channel ten – and similar networks – might starting wondering what the ABC and SBS are doing right. What, you mean that novel concept researched, two-sided news? Presented by professional, but not sexed-up reporters? One could only hope”¦