Medicine And The Media

Old fools, rogues, lovers, and sages

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 25 October 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1102
  1. Colin Currie, consultant geriatrician
  1. Edinburgh

    Colin Currie scoured British newspapers looking for evidence of agism in the print media. He was quite pleasantly surprised.

    I like newspapers and on most days read at least three, but for a whole week in September I am spurred to gross indulgence—reading every tabloid and broadsheet I can lay my hands on—having been asked to look at how older people are portrayed in the press. Over the week a pile of cuttings grows steadily beside the armchair in my study.

    “Wheelchair Reggie, 82, does 8 mph up M-way”—the Daily Record of 20 September gives most of page 23 to the story. Heading home from a trip to the bank in his new battery powered wheelchair, “the war veteran hadn't realised he had swung on to the motorway …. ‘I was going merrily along, but the traffic was really tearing past me … I was really worried …

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