Thursday, March 09, 2006

Global Media and Women

I discovered a fascinating project that measures one days worth of news content in as many countries as possible to see if and how women are portrayed in the news, and whether women are writing and anchoring the news.

The Global Media Monitoring Project released its report on its analysis of one day in 2005. It also has data from 1995 and 2000.

In the executive summary, they found that in the 76 countries they studied, women are still under-represented. Only 21% of the news was about women. This is up from 1995 (17%) and 2000 (18%), but still indicates that women are not featured as actors in society at the same rate that men are. In no topic do women outnumber men as newsmakers, but when women are present they are likely to be either celebrities or victims rather than ordinary people, and they are very rarely experts or spokespeople. As in prior studies older women who report the news on television are very rare, while male anchors and reports are likely to be shown reporting in their 50s and 60s.

The authors write:

Blatant stereotyping is alive and well in news reporting around the world. Nor is it limited to the gratuitous display of female flesh - although there are plenty of examples of this. Sexist reporting extends to a very wide range of stories - including sport, crime, violence, and even politics.

This report coupled with the news about the South Dakota abortion ban causes me to think that women need to join together again in the United States (and globally) to push a fourth wave of feminism.

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