September 13, 2010
How are the news media faring in reporting on issues related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from a gender perspective? The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) research in mainstream newspapers, television and radio newscasts in 108 countries across the world has uncovered that only 3% of stories on poverty, education (2%), HIV and AIDS (25%), environment (3%) and 1% of those on global partnerships highlight gender equality and inequality issues. These ‘themes’ pertain to MDGs 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 respectively.
The GMMP research has also found that only 8% of stories on poverty focus centrally on women, 9% of stories on education, 39% of stories on HIV and AIDS, 4% of stories on the environment and 19% of stories on global partnerships.
Further, the GMMP research reveals that only 5% of poverty stories, education (5%), HIV & AIDS (16%), environment (3%) and global partnerships (1%) clearly challenge gender stereotypes.
Of the 5 MDGs selected, news media reportage on HIV and AIDS has been the most gender-responsive from a world average standpoint.
More findings from GMMP 2010
- Women are inching closer to parity as people providing popular opinion in the news, at 44% of persons interviewed in the news in this capacity. In contrast, only 1 out of 5 experts in the news is female.
- Women are portrayed differently than men in news stories: their ages are reported on 2 times more often than men, they appear in photographs 1.5 times more than male news subjects and news stories do not represent women in professional or authority roles in the same degree they are actually present in reality.
- Women report only 37% of news stories in newspapers, on radio and television combined.
- News stories by female reporters are almost twice as likely to challenge gender stereotypes than stories by male reporters.
- Gender bias carries over from traditional news media (television, radio and print) to new (Internet) news media. The level of bias is similar in degree and in some cases, even more intense in new media than in traditional media.
The full results of the GMMP research will be discussed in 29th September, 2010 when the national, regional and global GMMP reports will be launched. Of special interest will be statistics on trends in women’s presence in the news since 1995, trends in reportage on different topics disaggregated by sex of news reporters and presenters, and trends in the quality of reportage from a gender perspective. A plan of action for media professionals and civil society committed to gender-ethical news media will be presented.
The GMMP is the world’s largest and longest running longitudinal research and advocacy initiative on gender in the news media. The project’s overarching purpose is to bring about fair and balanced gender representation in and through the news media. The GMMP is coordinated by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), a global network of communicators based in Canada and the U.K. working to promote communication for social change, in collaboration with data analyst Media Monitoring Africa, South Africa. Data for the 2010 GMMP was collected by volunteer media monitors in 108 countries around the world. The project is supported by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
Visit www.whomakesthenews.org for more news about the GMMP or write to MT@waccglobal.org for further information.