The media shapes what we think about, what we believe, and what we do. That means the decisions taken by those working in, and leading, the industry are of vital importance. If the media fails to represent women as equals and stereotypes them in their jobs, societal roles and attributes, they perpetuate and reinforce gender inequalities. This applies not just to women, but to trans people, sexuality, race, class, religion and ethnicity. In most of today’s news media, women are much less likely to be featured as subjects of a story or quoted as experts compared to men.
According to the Gender Equality Tracker, current statistics show that in US media coverage men are mentioned twice as frequently as women.
News organisations have a responsibility to analyse the representation of men and women in the content they produce, determine if an imbalance exists and take action if it is needed.
In Norway, Amedia discovered an average 34/66% split between women’s and men’s names across 660,000 local stories from 64 of its newspapers published during a 21-month period.
Doing so demonstrates an acknowledgement of the fact that the news has historically been made by men, for men, and a willingness to work towards representing men and women in a fair and balanced manner.