Today programme shake up: Try to keep it short, Ms Husain

"The question is not so much whether or not it is a good thing for female presenters to anchor topical current affairs programmes"

With the appointment of Mishal Husain, Radio 4’s Today programme becomes, if not entirely gender-balanced, at least marginally less male-dominated. Or, as the notoriously prolix Jim Naughtie, whom she replaces, might put it:

“The question is not so much whether or not it is a good thing for female presenters to anchor topical current affairs programmes – although that is, of course, generally considered to be a valid inquiry, and one to which the answer must surely be, why not? In this instance the question is as much about whether the BBC has, in the past, tended to exhibit a bias – either conscious or unconscious – in its selections for Today’s high-profile positions, and whether that has, inadvertently perhaps, fostered a culture that mixes excessive long-windedness and attack-dog questioning in a way that neither gets the best out of the programme’s guests nor makes the best use of all the… [ad infinitum]”

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