Women, Men and News: Global Media Monitoring Project


Analysis of the 2015 Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) in the UK and Ireland has been published online in Journalism Studies. The article is written by Karen Ross (Newcastle University), Karen Boyle (University of Stirling), Cynthia Carter (Cardiff University) and Debbie Ging (Dublin City University).

‘Women, Men and News: It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it’

In the twenty-teens, there are increasing numbers of women occupying executive positions in politics, business and the law but their words and actions rarely make the front page. In this article, we draw on data collected as part of the 2015 Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) and focus on England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. Since the first GMMP in 1995, there has been a slow but steady rise in the proportion of women who feature, report or present the news (now at 24 per cent), but that increase is a mere 7 per cent over 20 years. Not only is there a problem with visibility but our data also suggest that when women are present, their contributions are often confined to the realm of the private as they speak as citizens rather than experts and in stories about health but not politics. Just over a third of the media professionals we coded were women and older women are almost entirely missing from the media scene. Citizens and democracy more generally are poorly served by a news media which privileges men’s voices, actions and views over the other 51 per cent of the population: we surely deserve better.

The article discusses trends in GMMP data including the role of women as sources in news stories and the role of women as media professionals. Qualitative analysis further highlights examples that “illustrate the normalised persistence of stereotypical representational practices in some elements of mainstream news media as well as alerting us to the subtle ways in which certain stories and topics are pitched to an implied male audience.”

Global Media Monitoring Project: Since 1995, the Global Media Monitoring Project has been tracking coverage of women in media around the world. This media monitoring, research and advocacy project is the largest and longest longitudinal study on the gender in the world’s media. It reaches out to partners in countries across the globe in order to quantify gender inequalities perpetuated in and through the news media. One of the core aims of the GMMP is to use this data to educate journalists and media consumers about gender imbalance and, ultimately, inform media policy.

This year, the fifth GMMP took place with media coverage is Ireland monitored for the first time. With Dr Debbie Ging as the national representative for Ireland, researchers in the DCU School of Communications monitored print, radio, television, online and social media coverage of news across an entire day on Wednesday 25th March.

The full article is available on Journalism Studies

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