Jacinda Ardern’s resignation: Why the BBC is facing backlash over its coverage

the main points:
  • A headline used by the BBC in its coverage of Jacinda Ardern’s resignation has drawn criticism online.
  • It comes as world leaders, such as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, paid tribute to Ms Ardern.
  • While Mrs. Ardern’s popularity rose internationally, at home she faced a growing political headwind.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is being criticized for the headline used in its coverage of the BBC which has been described as “amazing sexism”.
Mrs. Ardern on Thursday, saying she had spent the summer contemplating her future and concluding she no longer had “enough in the tank” to seek re-election.
“I hope to leave New Zealanders with the belief that you can be kind yet strong, sympathetic yet decisive, optimistic yet focused,” said Ms Ardern.

“And you can be your kind of leader—someone who knows when it’s time to let go.”

Alongside its headline coverage, BBC World News ran a story originally titled: “Jacinda Ardern Quits: Can Women Really Have It All?”
The story begins with Lady Ardern’s popularity being widely discussed, many of her admirers being women who followed her journey from new Prime Minister to working mother and looked up to her as a role model.
It explores the challenges she faced as a leader, her low approval ratings in New Zealand despite being celebrated internationally, and the public scrutiny she faced.

The title of the article sparked criticism on social media.

Katharine O’Brien, co-director of a British reproductive healthcare charity, called it “amazing sexism”.
“Can’t believe @BBCWorld ran this headline in 2023. The sexism is amazing,” she wrote on Twitter.
Sangeeta Miska, a British TV presenter, said she was “sad to see such a reductive, sexist and inaccurate headline from BBC World”.
A must read, Jacinda Ardern quits: A global leader shows courage by breaking taboos in discussing emotional and mental well-being. ”
Dr. Kate Womersley, a psychiatrist who writes about medicine, sexuality, and women’s health, called it “a stigma.”
“Jacinda Ardern has been a long-standing leader and international champion. Because of her, many women have greater aspirations and will achieve greater success,” she wrote.

“I’ve done it all.”

The BBC World News account later said the original tweet “was taken down due to the headline update”.

The headline of the article read: Jacinda Ardern resigns: Departure exposes unique pressures on PM.”

It comes as world leaders applauded Ms Ardern, who will leave the job once Labor chooses a successor.

Jacinda Ardern is “deeply humbled” by the outpouring of support

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wrote an op-ed for nine newspapers, crediting her with writing a new leadership rulebook.
“Through the sheer power of her example, Jacinda Ardern has reminded us all that kindness and strength are not mutually exclusive. Most importantly, she has shown that a true leader possesses both,” he wrote.
Ardern kept her decision a secret until lunchtime Thursday, but offered Mr Albanese a heads up before making her announcement.
“I sent him a message before making this announcement because he is one of the leaders I have a close relationship with,” she said.
“I deeply appreciate the work we’ve done together and the time we’ve spent.

“He’s become a friend and I respect him so much. So I messaged him. We had a quick chat after that yesterday and he had nothing but roots of kindness and support.”

United States President Joe Biden credited Ms. Ardern for the growing relationship between the two countries.
“The partnership between the United States and New Zealand is stronger than ever, thanks in large part to your leadership,” he said.
“Your leadership in the development of a free and open Indo-Pacific has been decisive.”
Ms Ardern said she was surprised by the amount and depth of support she received.
“I actually feel very humbled,” she said.

“Receiving these letters of gratitude has been really touching for me and my family.”

While Mrs. Ardern’s popularity rose internationally, at home she faced a growing political headwind Source: GT / Phil Walter/Getty Images

International popularity, but growing political headwinds at home

Mrs. Ardern faced an incredible array of trials and tragedies.
She led the Labor Party to power after becoming leader just seven weeks before Election Day 2017, a campaign marked by her “Jacindamania”.
In 2019, New Zealanders are reassured by Her tender response won the world applause.
Another tragedy followed in December when While tourists were exploring the crater, 22 people died, including 14 Australians.
Ms Ardern made global headlines in 2020, with more than half of the members being women and the largest number of indigenous Māori politicians.
When COVID-19 arrived, it was among the first leaders to close borders and pursue a zero-tolerance strategy, keeping death rates well below those of other developed countries.
But not everyone was happy with her “go hard, go early” approach, which included a nationwide lockdown due to one infection.
As Ms. Ardern’s popularity rose internationally, at home she faced growing political headwinds, struggling to prove that her leadership extended beyond crisis management and empathy.

Its ratings have fallen in recent months due to a worsening housing crisis, rising costs of living and mortgage rates, and growing concerns about crime. However, it is still more popular than its competitors.

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