Gender Inequality In Journalism Media

Inequality is accurately depicted as “social or economic disparity” (Pantile et al, 2016). Inequality is demonstrated when two individuals are not seen as equals, and as a result of this, one is given opportunities that the other will not receive. Examples of such include; wealth, race, culture, religion, and gender. What this case study aims to discuss is the inequality between genders, in particularly in global journalism. Although gender inequality has come far from what it was 50 years ago, females are still “discriminated against in health, education, political representation, labour market, etc.—with negative consequences for development of their capabilities and their freedom of choice (Human Development Reports, 2016).” Specific areas where equality tends to be lacking have been identified in a study by Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins (2017, Davey). The three key areas identified were; “gender economic security, leadership positions and violence against women”.

 

In recent years, with the uproar of feminism, many journalism outlets have been slowly restructuring to give more female workers leadership positions and other opportunities that were not always considered. But in saying this, global journalism and media is still predominately dominated by males, with females taking stereotypical roles of fashion and beauty. Females have been found to represent the majority of journalists in news about “female politicians, birth control, fertility, sterilization and abortion; family relations; and a basket of topics that include beauty contests, modelling, fashion, and cosmetic surgery, in which two thirds of the subjects depicted in media coverage were women” (Oakford, 2015).

 

It is impossible to discuss gender inequality and journalism, without also critiquing sexism in the media industries globally. One particular example that is disturbing is gender inequality/sexism at Fox News. The network is notorious for sexual harassment allegations, and on air sexism.

 

This YouTube video demonstrates the extent of sexism in the Fox News environment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEoWSaM61NI

 

Ongoing from 2002 – 2016, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly “had paid out $13 million to five women in exchange for their silence on allegations of sexual harassment” (Ali, 2017). The sexism allegations towards members of Fox News only get worse, “just a year ago, saw former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes accused, repeatedly, of attempting to leverage his power to solicit sex from, not to mention harass and even reportedly try to assault, female co-workers” (Cheung, 2017).

 

An Australian journalist, Tracey Spicer discussed her difficult time as a female in the media and journalism industry, in her new book Good Girl Stripped Bare. She discussed the emphasis on appearance and essentially sexualising the news; “I was told to stick my chest out more to show the audience my best ‘assets’. Bear in mind this is when we are reading the news, we are talking about the horrific things that are happening in Syria, we are told we must look more beautiful to tell the audience that” (ABC News, 2017).

 

Sexism and gender inequality within the media is not discussed enough, many believe that feminism is ridiculous and a movement of the past, but it is real and present because it is something that is currently happening in our society throughout all kinds of professions.

 

To further demonstrate, this table shows that “there are fewer women in top roles than there are men called John, Peter or David; CEOs and chairs of ASX 200 companies” (ABC News, 2017):

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 3.21.09 PM.png

 

It is obvious that there is a problem with women’s equal access to roles across journalism and the media industries. In the post that follows, I will discuss interventions that have been made to try and address this situation, and increase the participation of women.

 

 

References:

PANTILIE, A, & DOBRE, I 2016, ‘VULNERABILITIES IN THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT MODELLING OF ROMANIA’, Quality – Access To Success, 17, p. 378, Supplemental Index, EBSCOhost, viewed 5 September 2017.

 

White, 2016, ‘Meet the boss: Justice guru Kate Jenkins’, Sydney Morning Herald, Available From: < http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/meet-the-boss-justice-guru-kate-jenkins-20161002-grt9h9.html > [Viewed 5th of September 2017]

Oakford, 2015, Gender Equality is Still a Huge Problem in the Global News Media, Vice News, Available From: < https://news.vice.com/article/gender-equality-is-still-a-huge-problem-in-the-global-news-media > (Viewed 7th August 2017)

 

Gaines-Ross, 2015, When the Media Covers Gender Inequality, the C-Suite Listens, Harvard Business Review, Available From: < https://hbr.org/2015/10/when-the-media-covers-gender-inequality-the-c-suite-listens > (Viewed 7th August 2017)

 

Morris, 2016, A balanced media? Not when it comes to gender, ABC News, Available From: < http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-08/morris-a-balanced-media-not-when-it-comes-to-gender/7228262 > (Viewed 8th August 2017)

 

n.a, 2016, United Nations Development Programme: Human Development Reports, Available From: < http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/gender-inequality-index-gii > (Viewed 8th August 2017)

 

Davey, 2017, Australian report finds disturbing evidence of gender inequality, The Guardian, Available From: < https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/08/australian-women-display-tremendous-resilience-in-face-of-gender-inequality-kate-jenkins-finds > (Viewed 8th August 2017)

 

Mediamatters4america, 2015, “70 Awful Displays Of Sexism On Fox News”, [Video], Available From, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEoWSaM61NI > (Viewed 8th August 2017)

 

Ali, 2017, Scandal, sexism and the role of women at Fox News, Los Angeles Times, Available From: < http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-et-st-bill-oreilly-sexual-harrassment-fox-news-women-20170405-story.html > (Viewed 8th August 2017)

 

Cheung, 2017, Who is Cleaning Up Fox News Legacy of Systemic Sexism? A Slew of Female Executives, Mediaite, Available From: < https://www.mediaite.com/online/who-is-cleaning-up-fox-news-legacy-of-systemic-sexism-a-slew-of-female-executives/ > (Viewed 8th August 2017)

 

n.a, 2017, ABC News, Available From, < http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-01/tracey-spicer-fights-back-against-sexism-in-media/8486446 > (Viewed 8th August 2017)

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6 comments

  1. pearlcorker · August 15

    It amazes me that gender inequality in nearly every facet of society is still so prevalent in 2017. What amazes me even more is when people try to claim that it doesn’t exist anymore. Just as females are more likely to report on female politicians, birth control and family etc like you have pointed out, it is also the same in global political positions. The majority of portfolios held by women are either ‘family, children, youth, elderly’ or ‘womens affairs, gender equality’ or ‘education’ these are all called ‘soft policies’ and so ‘hard policies’ like defence are dominated by males. The interesting thing about this is that these are all very typically seen as nurturing, caring roles which are often stereotypically associated with femininity and just helps to continue on the cycle of gender inequality and an under representation of women in both spheres that are supposed to represent public interest, media and politics.

    Like

  2. bloveder · August 15

    I think gender inequality in news media is such an important issue – I feel as though we as media students identify it easily, however everyday consumers and viewers aren’t as quick to put their finger on it, and should this change could be a hopeful future direction in closing the gap of gender inequality in global media. The post was well structured and a breeze to read, you explained a great variety of research, and the Youtube video is such a perfect example that explains the issue clear as crystal.
    Although the BCM332 readings aren’t as related to gender inequality in itself, I think you have made a strong connection from your individual research, with a bunch of different examples that show the unacceptable and sexist environment towards women in global media. It was also great to see you use an Australian example (Ten News) to show some similar implications of sexism in comparison to global outlets such as Fox News.
    I’m looking forward to reading the following post to learn what can and is being done in resolving this issue.

    Like

  3. serenabuckley · August 18

    Hi Emma,
    In week 3 we discussed gender inequality within Hollywood – I think you have successfully taken this topic and researched an area more related to a field of work where you may potentially be working. I agree – that we have progressed as a nation in ensuring women are included. I find your take on Fox interesting as I recently discovered their new programming with an all female panel. You can read further about this here http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/swoop/fox-sports-new-rugby-league-channel-will-boast-an-allfemale-panel-show/news-story/a40394224bbb34d45a2cdab437716eb4.
    The treatment of females and their appearance within the media has been an ongoing issue for many years. Karl Stefanovic from the Today show made a point of this when he wore the same shirt for a year in comparison to the treatment of his co host Lisa whom was always criticised for her outfit choices! http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/karl-stefanovics-sexism-experiment-today-presenter-wears-same-suit-for-a-year-20141115-11ncdz.html
    If you decide to look into females in senior roles further you should look into this academic reading https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/1016326/mod_resource/content/1/MatesovermeritwomenAusmedia.pdf
    Your last graph is eye catching and puts gender inequality into perspective!
    Looking forward to see what angle you decide to take for your final case study 🙂

    Like

  4. Pingback: The Medias Shot At Redemption | emmalife
  5. hecanshecanblog · 11 Days Ago

    • Hi Emma, I loved your post! It is interesting to see just how prevalent gender inequality in journalism really is, despite feminism’s birth 100 years ago. It’s important to look at the root cause of type of workplace sex discrimination, with is the perpetuation of gender stereotypes and traditional gender roles. The societal view of women as ‘mothers’ as opposed to ’workers’ has definitely caused the inequality seen in journalism careers. In your post, you discussed the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions, in journalism. This is a direct effect of such views. Women at home, taking care of children, instead of climbing the rungs at work accounts for such. We need to target discrimination at its core in order to achieve change in journalism, and other careers! Thanks!

    Like

  6. hecanshecanblog · 11 Days Ago

    Hi Emma, I loved your post! It is interesting to see just how prevalent gender inequality in journalism really is, despite feminism’s birth 100 years ago. It’s important to look at the root cause of type of workplace sex discrimination, with is the perpetuation of gender stereotypes and traditional gender roles. The societal view of women as ‘mothers’ as opposed to ’workers’ has definitely caused the inequality seen in journalism careers. In your post, you discussed the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions, in journalism. This is a direct effect of such views. Women at home, taking care of children, instead of climbing the rungs at work accounts for such. We need to target discrimination at its core in order to achieve change in journalism, and other careers! Thanks!

    Like

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