Women under and misrepresented by news media

| 29/09/2010

(CNS):  Women are still significantly underrepresented and misrepresented in news media coverage according to new research by Global Media Monitoring Project. Despite significant change since the project began 15 years ago 76% of the people heard or read about in the world’s news are male the organisation said on Wednesday.  The research covered 108 countries, 1,365 newspapers, television and radio stations and Internet news sites, 17,795 news stories and 38,253 persons in the news and found that female representation in the news had only increase by 7% since 1995. However 44% of people providing popular opinion in news stories were female compared to 34% in 2005.

The report Who Makes the News? The Global Media Monitoring Project 2010 found that news media show significant gender bias with 46% of news stories reinforcing gender stereotypes.  13% of news stories focus centrally on women.  Expert commentary is overwhelmingly male with only one female in every five experts.  The age of women in the news is mentioned twice as often and family status almost four times as often as for men. Today female reporters are responsible for 37% of stories compared to 28% fifteen years ago, and their stories challenge gender stereotypes twice as often as stories by male reporters.
Gender bias in Internet news is similar and in some respects even more intense than that found in the traditional news media.
The GMMP is the largest and longest running research and advocacy initiative on fair and balanced gender representation in the news media. It is coordinated by WACC, a global network of communicators promoting communication for social change, in collaboration with data analyst Media Monitoring Africa, and with support from the United Nations Development Fund for Women.
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