RELEASE DATE: 15 August 2013
CIoJ support for Paxman
The Chartered Institute of Journalists has offered its full support to Jeremy Paxman in the growing controversy over his beard.
Paxman’s facial hair has been the subject of much comment, criticism and mockery since it first appeared in public on Tuesday’s Newsnight.
The Institute said that much of the comment has been insulting and sexist, some of it from female commentators who would (rightly) be scrambling to condemn male colleagues who made similar remarks about a female broadcaster’s hairstyle.
The Institute’s (bearded) president, Charlie Harris, said: “I know this is the silly season, but with all the hard news around ‘man grows beard’ hardly merits the acres of print and broadcast minutes it has received.
“While some of the coverage has been jokey, some has been downright nasty, usually from people who should know, and behave better.”
Harris admitted that the Institute was currently firmly in the hands of the Bearded Tendency, with himself, the Immediate Past President Norman Bartlett; the general secretary Dominic Cooper, and the editor of The Journal, Andy Smith, among others, all sporting beards.
He said: “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Mr Paxman at this very difficult time, and assure him of our full support in the onslaught of the silly criticism he is enduring.
“We hope he stands firm and keeps his beard, which is discreet, well-kempt and distinguished.”