`Women form just 22% of heard or read in news`

Belying perceptions of a manifold increase in women as subjects or writers in media, a new report says that the female gender constituted just 22 per cent of the people heard or read about in news.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 20:15 PM IST

New Delhi: Belying perceptions of a manifold
increase in women as subjects or writers in media, a new
report says that the female gender constituted just 22 per
cent of the people heard or read about in news.

Only 22 per cent of the news subjects who were sources of
information were women, the rest 78 per cent of the news
sources being men, says the Global Media Monitoring Project
research report released here and in Mumbai simultaneously
today.

The report further says that only 12 per cent of the news
stories had women as the central focus, while only five per
cent of them highlighted gender equality or inequality.

Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of news stories
reinforced gender stereotypes while only nine per cent
challenged them.

A whopping 76 per cent of the people heard or read about
in the world`s news are male.

The GMMP monitored 1,365 newspapers, television and radio
stations and Internet news sites. A huge 17,795 news stories
and 38,253 people in the news in 108 countries with 82 per
cent of the world`s people were considered for the project.

A total of 24 per cent of people in the news are female,
compared to 17 per cent in 1995, while 44 per cent of persons
providing popular opinion in news stories are female compared
to 34 per cent in 2005.

Only 13 per cent of news stories focus centrally on women
and women in occupations outside homes are not represented in
proportion to their real presence, it says.

The age of women in the news is mentioned twice as often
and family status almost four times as often as for men.

Today female reporters are responsible for 37 per cent
of stories compared to 28 per cent 15 years ago and their
stories challenge gender stereotypes twice as often as stories
by male reporters.

However, challenging the findings of the study, Prasar
Bharti Chairperson and former editor of a leading daily Mrinal
Pandey said, "the report does not take into account the two
major dailies which have the highest readership in the Hindi
belt and thus ignores an important section of vernacular
media".

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said, the study
throws light on facts of occupational representation of women
and how the stereotyping of women needs to be broken.

PTI