Gender gap across digital media landscape

Meg Heckman, a lecturer in the journalism program at the University of New Hampshire (U.S.A.) argues that a gender gap exists across the full spectrum of the digital media landscape. Following Emily Bell's article in The Guardian (U.K) exposing gender inequalities reproduced in high profile digital journalism startups,  Heckman posits that the underrepresentation and undervaluation of women in traditional journalism has carried over into the digital journalism world.  

Heckman remarks: “Despite early prominence in digital journalism, female leaders are the minority in virtually all its corners today, and the women who do launch innovative publications aren’t getting the same attention as men. That has implications both practical and rhetorical, making journalism’s future seem as homogeneous as its past. “

She outlines the barriers to women's work in digital news: “We say personal brand is vital, but women who assert themselves online are too often sexually harassed, ridiculed, and threatened. And our culture tends to dismiss the way women practice journalism, deeming it less credible—and less commercially viable—than the work of men.“

Read Heckman's article here.

 


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Advancing gender equality in media

In my opinion, the most effective strategy to achieve gender-sensitive media is:

Increased gender-awareness training of media professionals
Greater action by audiences to hold their media accountable
Stricter enforcement of gender-focussed media codes and policies
More female journalists, editors and media house managers

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