Women in the media

Image courtesy- Ramya Menon

In the 21st century, we like to believe that a woman can do everything a man can do and can even do it better.

My journalism class has 40 students out of which only seven are male. Imagine my surprise when statistics showed to me that the number of male journalists is significantly higher than female journalists.

I don’t only mean in developing countries where women don’t have the same opportunities as men or have laws that restrict them from doing certain things. It’s an all over the world phenomenon.

The Global media monitoring report of 2010 that spans over a 110 countries, studying the media situation says that there is a higher number of women studying to be journalists but much less actually make it into work.

About 62 % percent of all journalists are male while only 38 % percent are female. We like to argue that women and men are equal but these statistics prove otherwise.

The reasons are many.

One is the glass ceiling that refers to an invisible barrier that prevents women and other minorities from climbing to the highest rung of corporate hierarchy.

This is de motivating as from the beginning a woman knows that no matter how hard she works this will be a barrier to her success.

Another is it’s difficult for a staunch feminist to get ahead in the male dominated media industry, if you have to succeed you have to become “one of the boys” or a stereotypical definition of a woman.

Women are clearly still not seen as an important part of the world. According to GMM report “24% of the people heard or read about in print, radio and television news are female. In contrast, 76% of the people in the news are male.”

Considering half the world’s population is female there is definitely something wrong with this statistic. Even when they are in the news they’re celebrities, victims or both.

Women may go hoarse screaming out that equality exists but these hard facts tell us otherwise.

My professor gave us a viable albeit difficult solution. He said to all of us female students, “don’t get mad, get even.” Watch out world, it maybe a small start but 33 of us girls are ready to tackle this media industry and soon.

Published in: on December 4, 2010 at 10:09 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t understand why people consider the fact that there are more men in journalism than women a bad thing.

    You wouldn’t complain that there are not enough female miners, would you? It’s a hard job that requires some characteristics men fit better than women.

    Same with being a reporter, I believe. It’s a dog’s life with no regular lunch breaks and no decent holidays, it is stressful and takes a lot of your time. Women should be happy men are doing the job… I am not saying women can’t do the job as effectively, i am asking why they try so hard to make their lives more complicated…

    • I think when it comes to mining there maybe some requirements men have that women cannot have, physically speaking.
      Women reporters are a completely different story, for example lots of women are doctors and the hours are gruelling and its a stressful job as well it doesnt mean women should sit back and let men do all the work, just because its difficult.
      I think journalism needs more women. They are half the world’s population and they need to be properly represented.

      • Represented for the sake of being properly represented? What will change in journalism if there are more women there?

        And are you saying it’s women’s right to do the hard work of reporting, or their responsibility (so that men don’t have to do all the hard work)?

        It’s a complicated topic… I’m glad Colin made us think about it…

      • According to statistics even when women are in the news, they are shown as celebrities or victims. If more women journalists existed, they would definately ensure that the world sees a woman in all possible ways, as an expert on a subject or anything else rather than just the 2 narrow definitions i gave above.
        Ofcourse they should be properly represented, thats where it begins. The fact that there arent enough women means that they arent getting the oppportunities they deserve.Once the representation is in place, actual change can start.
        Its a women’s right to do whatever she wants to do, whether its reporting or being a miner.
        If a profession like journalism exists where there is a lack of women I think all women should be arguing that we need to get more equal opportunities.
        I think its sad if women think this way then there really is no scope for the future.
        It is not complicated at all. It is simple and it begins with women and ends at us. If we dont believe we need change, there wont be a change.

  2. Comparing miners to journalists is just wrong. Mining involves physical strength and journalism involves mental ability. It depends on how well you comprehend the facts in front of you and relate it to your audience.
    It does not require one to be buff or tough. Every field requires people to put in efforts. Even a house wife works all day to ensure that her family and house is looked after. Many times she misses her lunch/dinner for her family and spends hours putting everything right. She sleeps late and gets up earlier than the rest of her family. No holidays no short cuts and she can’t even quit this.
    My point is women are prepared to do strenuous work, we have more emotional strength than men and journalism requires that more than anything else.

  3. I hope your batch would correct the statistics and be a role model for the rest of the so many talented people sidelined because of their gender.

    Well written!

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