by Women's Media Watch*, Jamaica
The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP 2010) was launched by Women's Media Watch-Jamaica in partnership with the Press Institute Jamaica and the Caribbean Institute for Media and Communications (University of the West Indies) on November 25, 2010, at a breakfast media launch. The launch was held in Kingston, at the Courtleigh Hotel.
The 2010 GMMP Report contains data from 108 countries, including eleven (11) Caribbean territories. In the Caribbean, the research was coordinated by Women’s Media Watch-Jamaica and the University of Puerto Rico, and conducted by teams of volunteers from NGOs and educational institutions.
Participants at the Launch: Forty one (41) persons attended the launch, representing key national media houses, and agencies in the sectors of Education, Human Rights, Gender & Development, and communications, including: The Broadcasting Commission; Power 106 FM; ProComm Communications; Hot 102 FM; The Gleaner; Press Association of Jamaica; Jamaica Observer and Phase 3 Productions.
"Gender Dynamics in the News: Ms Jenni Campbell, newly installed President of the Press Association of Jamaica, and the first woman to hold this position, made a presentation on gender dynamics in the news room. She highlighted the special achievements and progress of women reporters in Jamaica who can be found covering all areas of the news. She also noted that reporters had risen to top positions, and she represented this move, since she began as a junior reporter and has risen to the position of Editor of Jamaica’s largest newspaper, the Gleaner.
Ms Campbell lauded the sharing of the GMMP data and said that “any kind of exposure of information that will benefit our people and provide them with options to share decision-making, ought to be welcomed”.
Evaluation: From the perspective of Women’s Media Watch, the main achievement was the presence and involvement of a significant number of news media persons from print and electronic media including senior practitioners. The sharing of viewpoints between media professionals and representatives of civil society was frank and engaging; there was respect for the difficulties faced by each sector (media and civil society) and increased levels of understanding. This was important, because WMW and other NGOs can be used as a valuable resource by the media, providing stories and speakers, and a gender perspective and gender analysis wherever needed.
The challenge that WMW and civil society faces, is to constantly show the gatekeepers in the media that good, professional journalism is based on balance, accuracy and fairness, and that efforts need to be made towards this end, which will, of course, ensure gender balance/equity as well as balance in other areas.
*URL www.womensmediawatch.org; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org