Kate Sanderson

A presenter of 'Newsround' responds to an article by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown,in which she criticised the standards of television programmes for children
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The Independent Online

As a children's presenter and a woman, I must qualify for the recent bashing which has been meted out in print by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and others. It's time to set the record straight.

As a children's presenter and a woman, I must qualify for the recent bashing which has been meted out in print by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and others. It's time to set the record straight.

In fact there are many of us who want nothing more than to inspire new generations of empowered, open-minded, independent young women. Amazingly, we have degrees, postgraduate qualifications, and have worked hard to get where we are.

Female C-BBC presenters with degrees include Liz Barker, Angellica Bell, Ana Boulter, Konnie Huq and Kirsten O'Brien. I have a degree in French and German and a diploma in Broadcast Journalism. Shall I go on?

And the thorny issue of how we look and how we dress. Change the record, please!

Have the critics considered how demeaning it is to dictate how a woman should look? They wouldn't dream of telling men what they should wear. They have surely fallen into the trap of regarding women, who may happen to be attractive, as dangerous sex objects who should be covered up. I rather suspect such a move would be a huge turn-off for children, which would undoubtedly lead to criticism that we're out of touch and old-fashioned. You see, we can't win.

Yes, some women TV presenters do have glamorous photographs taken; yes they are gorgeous. But are they really encouraging moral decline?

Far from dressing to titillate men, these women just dress how they want. And like it or not, children are more image-conscious today than ever before and more discerning than some of the recent articles have suggested.

It's time for some people to stop devaluing the contributions made by hard-working women who are holding their own in a male-run industry.

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