IFJ Calls on Unions to Confront Crisis of Gender Bias in the News

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for a new debate in newsrooms over

reporting gender issues and gave its backing to a global campaign to

combat sexist reporting.


The IFJ says

it is time for a serious gender-sensitive reporting debate inside journalism

and for action to support fair, non sexist reporting in the news following publication

of a report showing that

women are still significantly underrepresented and misrepresented in news media


"Bias in the

portrayal of women and men in news content has a detrimental impact on the

public's perception of gender roles in society," says Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary,

commenting on the results of a report by the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP).

"This report concludes that media around the world is failing to portray fairly

more than a half of the world's population."

The Global Media Monitoring Project is

the largest and longest running research and advocacy initiative on fair and

balanced gender representation in news media. It is coordinated by the World

Association for Christian Communication (WACC). This

year's monitoring

examined newspapers, television and radio stations and Internet news sites in

108 countries.

According to its findings, only 24% of

people heard, seen or interviewed in the news are women. The report finds that

46% of news stories reinforced gender stereotypes and that 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 their family status almost

four times as often as for men. The report also shows that women make 37% of

reporters all media combined and that women-led reporting is more likely to be

gender balanced.

"These findings reflect how ethical

values need to be strengthened in journalism," said White. "Unions must respond

to this and must promote a new debate on the need for change."

Many IFJ affiliates took part in the

GMMP monitoring this year and White paid tribute to their commitment. "It is

time for more unions to make fair gender portrayal part of their gender

equality campaigns and ensure that it becomes part of media priorities and

trainings," he said. "This must be done together with fair recruitment

procedures, equal access to leadership position and promotion, and equal

treatment for everyone in the newsroom.'

National results of the GMMP will be

announced in the upcoming weeks throughout the world. National events are organised

around these launches and the IFJ invites its affiliates to coordinate with

national GMMP coordinators.


more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 125 countries