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