I heard the news this morning about the tragic plane crash in Buffalo on CBC radio 2 this morning at 8 am. What shocked me was that they referenced the gender of the pilot-- the "female pilot" lost control of the plane.
I could not help but wonder why they thought gender was relevant-- did they mean to imply that this was a factor in the crash or that it was newsworthy that the pilot was female?
Here is the letter I sent to the CBC:
"This morning I heard your coverage of the plane crash in the US on CBC radio 2 in Ottawa. The coverage was condensed so every word counted.
In the story there was a reference to the pilot as the "female pilot"
I have to ask-- did you think the pilot's gender was a factor in the crash?
Would you have pointed out the gender if the pilot had been male?
Do you think it is newsworthy in 2009 that women hold these positions?
Why did your coverage include this?
The Pilot died as did all the passengers - we are hearing that the reason is likely a mechanical malfunction.
I can't express in words my reaction to your need to attach a gender to the story in such a gratuitous way.
Can you explain this to me?"
If you want to ask a question yourself here is the email address:
If you think I am way off base please tell me. I'd rather be told I am wrong than what I am thinking right now.