Inequality is accurately depicted as “social or economic disparity”. 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 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 weren’t 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).
This case study aims to present examples of gender inequality and sexism in journalism media, and looks to examine its effects of inequality in global media. One example that is particularly 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
Just recently 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).
And 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).
Another story comes from Ten News’s Tracey Spicer, in her new book Good Girl Stripped Bare, where she discussed her difficult time as a female in the media and journalism industry. 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 a topic that isn’t 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 shock you into reality, “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):
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)