Ageism in Television News Media: SOC 315

Essay by MRC2CWOUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 2008

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

In Mid-March of 2008, Michael Macklin filed suit at the Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts alleging that he was dismissed from WHDH-TV News due to age discrimination (Diaz, 2008). This paper will discuss the circumstances reported by Diaz, analyze the legal concerns as they relate to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act found in Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Chapter XIV (CFR 29§1625) and present my thoughts and beliefs on the subject.

CircumstancesFactsIn 2007, after 13 years of as a news reporter for WHDH-TV, Michael Macklin was dismissed from employment. He started his tenure as a freelance reporter working 40-hours per week in 1994. In 1997, the NBC affiliate offered him a full-time staff position with benefits, which he turned down. The news director, Linda Miele, began cutting his hours back in January 2006 at the same time hiring several young reporters.

When he questioned why this was happening, Ms. Miele indicated that she did not think he was an aggressive enough reporter and that he missed many elements in his reports that the competing news outlets did not. WHDH-TV has hired at least three young reporters, but still maintains a staff of four news anchors over the age of 40. Even as the suit was filed, a 40-plus year old anchor was replaced by a 27 year old, with the elder gentleman taking a less visible position. Additionally, in fall of 2007, a 37 year old female reporter was replaced by a 27 year old female. The station submits that they move personnel around in a measure to continual improve their product (Diaz, 2008).

Allegations and Mitigating FactorsMacklin alleges that he was fired after complaining "that he was discriminated against because of his age" (Diaz, 2008). Although this very well...