Mark Austin on “autocuties”

Last week Mark Austin, ITV war reporter and news reader, complained about pretty boy and pretty girl reporters who read the news in a studio, but have little experience in the field. He termed them “autocuties”,

“I do think there are a number of pretty young women and handsome young men without a solid journalistic background reading the news nowadays,” he said in an interview with the Radio Times. “Naming no names, but particularly on the 24-hour news channels. I do believe, though, that they’ll get found out. You don’t need to have been to a war zone to read the news, but it does help. The main requirement for a newsreader is to stay calm under pressure.” link

His “withering attack” didn’t go down too well with the “autocuties”. He doesn’t quite eat his words in the Daily Mirror today, but he does have a stab at defending himself,

There are some very accomplished TV news presenters who haven’t traipsed around war zones. It would be absurd to say otherwise. I just simply think it helps to have some experience of the processes of reporting… So to all those young media college students sending emails asking how to become a newsreader I would recommend first getting a few stories under your belt. And now I’m going to shut up! link