Aside all the past sexism and gender discrimination in the media, the industry is taking a slow, but steady stride towards an equality driven future. Although many had already believed that equality had been reached, and there was no need for a feminist movement, the media industry, and many others, have proven that further action has to be taken for this to be a reality. Many have already begun the advance towards equality in the media, like organisations such as; Alliance For Women In The Media, Women In Media (A MEAA Initiative), ESPN, and even with much surprise, Fox Sports has had a chance at redemption with its new all female panel rugby league show. With major organisations pioneering equality within the media, other organisations and individuals are sure to follow.
There are a few specific organisations that are in place to support women’s success and their rights in harsh industries environments such as media and journalism. Such organisations include; Alliance For Women In The Media and Women In Media, both organisations have stated to be “committed to supporting women across all media segments, to expand networks, educate and celebrate accomplishments” (Women In Media, 2016). These kinds of organisations show support for feminism and encourage a range of diversity and equality throughout all workplace environments.
What is truly a remarkable accomplishment for the progress of equality in the media, is Fox Sports new all female rugby league show, ‘League Life’. Fox News proved to be a huge stump for gender equality within the media, as demonstrated by the many allegations, sexual assault and harassment cases, but the media giant has taken a step towards redemption with is all female sports show. What is particularly empowering about Fox Sports all female rugby league show, is that many would have anticipated that women in sports journalism would have been the one of the last steps towards equality in the media. On the panel of “‘League Life’ will have Yvonne Sampson, Lara Pitt, Jessica Yates and Hannah Hollis discuss the key issues within the game and at grassroots level”. Lara Pitt discussed the steady progress for females in the media and journalism industry as she stated, “There were no female presenters in league until I started in 2012 … now we have an increase involvement in women”.
ESPN is another sports media giant who are making significant progress on the front of gender equality in journalism. ESPN recently announced; “Samantha Ponder will officially be taking over as the hostess of the networks “Sunday NFL Countdown.” This announcement proves historical for gender equality within the media, as “no woman has ever hosted this show in its 32 years of existence until now” (Dayley, 2017). In pervious years, women had been said to be “trespassing” when they would speak out in categories that are predominately male (Datta, 2016), such as sport, but Ponder’s promotion proves that a steady change is taking play. Being a successful female journalist proved already difficult enough, but ESPN have demonstrated remarkable equality in promoting a female lead in a category that has been male dominated.
Although, historically, females in the media and journalism industry have endured sexism, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination, a steady progression towards equality seems to be taking place.
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Daley, 2017, ESPN ponders the future of female sports journalism, The Stylus, Available From: < http://www.brockportstylus.org/news/article/current/2017/03/28/100242/espn-ponders-the-future-of-female-sports-journalism > Viewed 19th August 2017
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Datta, 2016, ‘Belling the trolls: free expression, online abuse and gender’, Open Democracy, Available From: < https://www.opendemocracy.net/bishakha-datta/belling-trolls-free-expression-online-abuse-and-gender > Viewed 19th August 2017
Endong, FC 2016, ‘The Female Media Producer as an Advocate of Women’s Empowerment in Nigeria: The Cross River State Experience’, Gender Studies (1583-980X), 15, 1, pp. 167-182, Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 21 August 2017.
De-Miguel, R, Hanitzsch, T, Parratt, S, & Berganza, R 2017, ‘WOMEN JOURNALISTS IN SPAIN: AN ANALYSIS OF THE SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC FEATURES OF THE GENDER GAP’, El Profesional De La Información, 26, 3, pp. 497-506, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts, EBSCOhost, viewed 21 August 2017.