‘What was wrong with women!?’ BBC viewers rage at Chris Mason replacing Laura Kuenssberg
BBC viewers rage at hiring of Chris Mason replacing Laura Kuenssberg
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BBC Breakfast’s Newswatch segment on Saturday’s instalment of the show was hit by complaints. Some viewers took to social media to share their thoughts on Chris Mason being named the BBC’s new political editor. Laura Kuenssberg had been in the role since 2015 and announced last year that she was stepping down from the coveted spot, and some viewers hoped another woman would take over.
Broadcast Samira Ahmed went through the list of complaints on the matter.
Viewer Bethan tweeted: “I respect @Chris Mason BBC & believe he’ll do a great job, BUT what was wrong with the original applicants & the women shortlisted that made you decide to re-start your search for a suitable man?”
“Chris’ appointment came this month, and with Laura being associated with the role, which is one of the most prominent and powerful in British journalism, how will Chris compare?”
Her anger came from the fact two other female candidates were shortlisted, but then the role was opened up again before Chris was brought in.
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The role was initially advertised with a deadline of “January 20” which was then extended to “February 10”, with Samira adding: “Chris Mason was said at the time to have ruled himself out of the running.”
She went on to say: “Subsequently it was widely reported that a shortlist had emerged of two external female candidates but then the post was readvertised internally with a new deadline of April 5.”
Bethan’s wasn’t the only complaint about Chris’ appointment.
Dominic Ponsford said: “I’m sure Chris Mason will be brilliant…but BBC appears to have learned nothing from sketchy hiring processes which were exposed with the report into Martin Bashir.”
In response to the Newswatch points, Samira read out a reply from a BBC spokesperson: “We’re not commenting on a confidential HR process, but all proper procedures were followed.
“It was a fair and open process.”
Many viewers applauded Chris’ promotion, with Bridget Ledson commenting: “An impartial, humble, knowledgeable reporter. Well done, Chris.”
“It’s a Yorkshire takeover!! Chris is gonna be the Heineken Pol Ed – reaching parts of the audience others can’t,” Anthony Thompson added.
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The former political editor Laura will put her years of experience on the BBC to use on BBC One’s Sunday Morning show from September.
Last month, it was revealed that the 45-year-old would be stepping in to host the Sunday morning news show that Sophie Raworth initially presented.
Laura took to social media and said: “I’m extremely happy to say that I’ll be in the BBC politics chair on Sunday mornings from September.
“It’s a genuine honour and real thrill to be working with an amazing team on the show, can’t wait to get started!”
Chris brings with him a long career covering the news.
He started off as an ITN trainee before becoming BBC Radio 5 Live’s political reporter.
It was there he co-hosted Question Time Extra Time and spent two years in Brussels as a Europe correspondent.
No stranger to political coverage, he was also the co-presenter of the political talk show Brexitcast and still regularly appears on the Newscast podcast.
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One
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