Congratulations to our latest 92-year-old media starPosted by Ellee on May 25, 2012 in Blog | 4 comments
For the second time in just over a week, a nonagenarian has beaten off stiff competition from young rivals to scoop a top media award. Congratulations to Elaine Morgan, a 92-year-old writer with the Western Mail, who won the Columnist of the Year Award 2011 in the Regional Press Awards.
Earlier this month Beryl and Betty, aged 86 and 90 respectively (pic), stunned the nation by winning the best entertainment programme at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. Suddenly, we can’t get enough of their views about life, and it’s a voice that deserves to be heard (I don’t mean that to sound patronising, I think it is long overdue).
It’s refreshing to hear these positive stories about our media savvy silver-haired stars at a time when there are reports about ageism and the BBC.
At Elaine’s award ceremony, she was praised for her genuinely unique voice: “Her columns are beautifully crafted and laced with wit, self-knowledge and wisdom.”
Nick Ferrarri, who hosted the award ceremony, added: “At the age of 92 Elaine has the benefit of more wisdom than anybody else here.”
I’m delighted to see that the media is recruiting talented senior citizens who most probably make up a large share of the paper’s readers and tune in to radio shows. Mind you, I don’t think they will start reading the national weather reports – just yet!
However, I hope this isn’t at the expense of buzzing young talent desperate for a break during an era of newspaper austerity and closures, at a time of staff cutbacks at radio stations around the UK.
I started writing a weekly woman’s page for my local newspaper at 16 while still at school (they were mainly fashion stories and I doubled up as the model too on some occasions!) How many school kids get that kind of break today? At 18, the paper signed me up as a cub reporter and fully trained me, and it was thanks to my two-week work experience placement at the newspaper that this all came about.
I hope I can live up to Elaine’s glowing example and still be writing if I live to a ripe old age, that I will still be able to articulate the same kind of wisdom that she has done so successfully.