November 10, 2009
“Today gender equality in the news media came under scrutiny in some 127 countries around the world. Teams of volunteers around the world took part in measuring how well their national media are doing on fair and balanced representation and portrayal of women and men in the news. They monitored thousands of stories in hundreds of newspapers and news broadcasts. The Global Media Monitoring Project is the largest research and advocacy initiative in the world on gender equality in news and journalism.
From Argentina to Zimbabwe, Bangladesh to Yemen, Barbados to the Solomon Islands and Australia to Canada, national newspapers, television, radio and internet news broadcasts were analyzed in the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP). Teams of volunteers around the world took part in measuring how well their national media are doing on fair and balanced representation and portrayal of women and men in the news. They monitored thousands of stories in hundreds of newspapers and news broadcasts.
The Global Media Monitoring Project is the largest research and advocacy initiative in the world on gender equality in news and journalism. It is coordinated in Toronto by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) with regional coordinators and national coordinators in each country. Through it, community organizations, organizations concerned with gender equality, university students and researchers and media professionals, among others, work together in a massive voluntary collaborative effort. Its ultimate goal is to advance gender justice by encouraging the fair and balanced gender portrayal and representation in and through the news.
It is often said that the news is a mirror on the world. The GMMP study in 2005 found that women are largely invisible in the news. Four out of every five persons (21%) in news stories worldwide were men, and just ten percent of all news stories focused specifically on women. The data gathered today will generate solid evidence of whether and how much this has changed across the world.
Today’s research investigates concrete examples of how the routines and practices of journalism result in news stories that reinforce gender stereotypes, and highlights instances of exemplary gender sensitive journalism. The data generated today are expected to provide evidence — facts and figures — for transformation.
The United Nations Development Fund for Women UNIFEM is supporting the project, recognizing the importance of gender equality in news media to women around the world. The International Federation of Journalists and numerous national media associations are involved.
The results will be analyzed by WACC in partnership with Media Monitoring Africa and Gender Links, both based in South Africa. A report will be published in time for the 2010 the Millennium Development Goals Review Summit and the 15 year review of progress in the implementation of the 1995 Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing. Through Section ‘J’ of the Beijing Platform for Action, governments and other actors committed to promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media. They also committed to increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication.
The project highlights the need for fair and balanced gender portrayal to take its rightful place in ethical professional standards for journalism.
For updates from monitoring groups around the world visit: http://www.waccglobal.org
For more information, please go here or contact Terry Mutuku, Communication Officer: MT@waccglobal.org
This press release was posted on AWID