Press release from the Global Media Monitoring Project

Source:  Association for Women’s Rights In Development

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.

Press release: Global media monitoring project

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