ITV's Austin latest newsreader to attack vain broadcasters

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ITV newsreader Mark Austin has accused 24-hour news channels for choosing presenters for their good looks rather than their journalistic talents.

In an interview with the Radio Times, he said: ‘I do think there are a number of pretty young women and handsome young men without a solid journalistic background reading the news nowadays… naming no names, but particularly on the 24-hour news channels. You don’t need to have been to a war zone to read the news, but it does help.”

Austin’s comments echo those of BBC’s Peter Sissons, who earlier this year launched an attack on the BBC. The 66-year-old newsreader said: “What matters far more is the passing appeal of presenters. We are all fashion goods now. Presenters are chosen more and more for the way they look, than what they have done.”

Earlier this month television newsreader Selina Scott began legal action against broadcaster Channel 5 claiming she had her contract cancelled because she was too old.

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