This module identifies different media research methods to gather facts intended to engage the media during advocacy. Approaches to gathering evidence include media monitoring, audience research and conducting a gender audit of the media.
The GMMP tool is perhaps the most widely known for media monitoring from a gender perspective. Monitors use the day’s newspapers or a video or audio tape recording of the day’s major radio or television newscast. Referring to specific questions in the tool about the story, monitors count, listen, observe, analyze and record their responses in the grid provided. Codes for all possible responses are provided to enable summary counts, averages and other statistical operations. The entire tool may be downloaded from the website www.whomakesthenews.org
Qualitative monitoring helps to analyze the gender biases and prejudices that appear in the media. Biases are identifiable in the value judgments, perceptions and attitudes that are communicated through the language, placement of stories, sources chosen, focus of the story, and other journalistic and editorial choices.
Qualitative monitoring also helps to reveal how the media portrays the power relations between women and men, i.e., the position of women and men in the division of resources and responsibilities, benefits and rights, power and privilege. The use of gender relations as an analytical category shifts the focus from viewing women in isolation from men.(Women’s Media Watch Jamaica, 1998.
The key areas in which women are often misrepresented in news media and therefore needing special attention in qualitative monitoring are:
Quantitative and qualitative monitoring combined can provide a rich resource to support gender and media advocacy work and to build effective campaigns.
The toolkit is available online.Back To Top