BBC sparks ‘sexism’ row over ‘misogynistic’ Jacinda Ardern coverage01/21/2023
BBC acknowledges 'sexist' Ardern headline following complaints
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The BBC received a flurry of complaints from readers over its coverage of Jacinda Ardern choosing to leave her role as Prime Minister of New Zealand. She became the youngest head of Government in the world when she took on the position in 2017 at the age of 37. Six years later and Ardern is leaving the job behind but the BBC took a very unpopular stance when it came to reporting the news.
The resignation of Jacinda Ardern came as a shock to many around the world as she had a successful run as New Zealand’s Prime Minister.
She stated that she would be taking a step back after “six challenging years in the job”.
Following her announcement, BBC World News chose to go with the headline on Twitter: “Jacinda Ardern resignation: Can women really have it all?”
As expected, readers weren’t pleased with its take on the story and took to social media to complain.
As reported on News Watch, there were a number of tweets calling BBC World News out on its coverage.
Robert Rutledge tweeted: “Jacinda Ardern is a wunderkind politician, successful on the international stage and she decides to step back.
“BBC World’s decision was to frame that as a failure because she’s a woman. Incredibly misogynistic take.”
Katherine O’Brien agreed: “I cannot believe @bbcworld published this headline in the year 2023. Staggering sexism.”
Meanwhile, fellow BBC reader Kat added: “BBC World tweeting ‘Can women really have it all?’ in Jacinda Ardern’s resignation…for real? Are we still on that?”
News Watch presenter Samira Ahmed went on to explain that BBC News had responded to the series of “sexism” complaints.
In a statement, the BBC said: “We quickly recognised the original headline wasn’t suitable for the story and changed it accordingly.
“We also deleted the associated tweet.”
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In Ardern’s speech, the New Zealand Prime Minister explained the reasons behind her departure.
She stated: “I am not leaving because it was hard. Had that been the case I probably would have departed two months into the job!
“I am leaving because with such a privileged role, comes responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead, and also, when you are not.
“I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It is that simple.
“But I absolutely believe, and know, there are others around me who do.
“We achieved a huge amount in the last five years. And I am so proud of that.”
As well as her resignation, Ardern announced when the country will have its next general election.
Under the last Government, the practice began of revealing the election date at the beginning of the year and this new approach continues.
Ardern confirmed this year’s general election will take place on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
BBC Breakfast airs daily at 6am on BBC One.
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